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Clematis advice

CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,394

I have a Clematis Niobe and a Clematis Josephine.  Both popped into flower quite early in the year but have gone over now.  I thought they'd put on quite a good show considering they're only young.  

However, they look like they might be a bit dry.  Can I ask for comparisons - are other people's Clematis of the same type looking a bit shabby at this time of year?

I went to plant another one close by and realised that the soil is pretty packed solid with roots so this could be another reason for their lack of vigour.

I've chucked some home compost on the root area (free of the stem) to try and juj them up a bit.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025

    Water is vital to keep them happy Cloggie. Extra compost will help - but make sure they're not dry before you add it. You can add plenty over the whole plant when they've died right back, or in early spring. 

    I have good moisture retentive soil which really helps keep them going. My Niobe is still covered in flowers  - but it's also been raining practically non stop for a couple of days so I don't have to worry about them drying out!  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,394

    Ack, my instincts were right then Fairy, thanks.  I've cut them back, watered and composted but it might be a re-think that's needed.  

    Ho hum, always learning! image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,025

    Indeed Cloggie - always  image

    Niobe is one of my favourites and has been superb this year.

    To be honest - if they're young plants, they'll still be maturing and I expect you'll get a bigger, better display next year.

    Following advice that Richard Hodson (clematis nursery owner)  has given here this year, I've fed less than I normally would  (they've only had a sprinkle of B,F & B in spring)  and when we had strangely dry weather early in the year, I made sure mine didn't go short of water. It seems to be the best management for them   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,394

    I am the world's laziest waterer so always move a plant if it's not happy to somewhere where it would thrive but I'm a bit cobbled having only four fence panels and the rest being hedge.  I have a feeling that the soil under their area is quite thin and on top of a soakaway so sharp draining so I will buy in some topsoil and boost it for them (as well as adding organic matter) - you can but try eh?

    Actually I've planted a clematis montana Broughton Star under a hedge (only cost me £2.50 and so don't mind if it fails) as a bit of an experiment.  I'm hoping it will cover a hedge structure that is dying/died/partly alive.

    Obviously trimming the bits that are still living will be tough once covered in vine but it's in an overcast area so doesn't grow vigorously.  I'm hoping the clematis is vigorous enough to cope with the conditions.

    Exciting, we'll see what happens (or someone might tell me this is a terrible idea because they've already tried it) image

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