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Clematis debutante pruning help

linsay_1linsay_1 Posts: 10
hi all,

i have a 2 year old clematis debutante which is looking a bit sad. The first year it was nice and bushy but this year it is really patchy and I'm unsure what to go with this to encourage more growth and better coverage there is very little of it! 

any tips? Added a picture 

Posts

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,823
    Clematis 'debutante'? Never heard of that cultivar. :|
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,823
    Correction! Actually found a reference to it here: http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=697

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,330
    I suspect it's been short of water and possibly hungry.  Are you in a region that's had a hot, dry summer?   

    Is it in the ground or in a pot.  Did you bury it deeper than it was in its pot when you bought it?   Did you feed it?  Have your pruned it at all?

    It is a group 2 which means it produces a first flush of flowers in May/June on old wood, after which it can be lightly pruned to keep in bounds and remove some spent flowers.  It should then produce a second flush on new wood at the end of summer/early autumn.

    If you want yours to produce new stems and flower lower down, I suggest you give it a very good drink and a feed of bonemeal gently worked in around its roots then a good mulch of well-rotted garden compost.  Next spring, cut it down to about 15" high or just above a pair of buds on each stem and give it a good feed of slow release clematis fertiliser and a regular drink of liquid tomato food or seaweed to encourage new stems and flowers.

    In subsequent years you can choose to repeat this pruning and feeding regime and treat it as a group 3 or else go to the one above for group 2s but keeping the feeding and making sure it never gets thirsty in dry spells.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    Looking at the photo- I'm afraid it's not planted very well, and will continue to struggle unless you clear all the weeds and grass away from it, and give it a decent border/planting area to grow in. 
    Cut a proper edge to the grass, leaving the clematis a good couple of feet of space with no competition from other planting. Follow the advice given above to give it a decent chance of thriving, and you'll reap the benefit in years to come.
    Water especially, is vital to many clematis, and if they get dehydrated it affects their growth quite badly. A mulch will help conserve that moisture, especially when the weather is very hot and dry.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,330
    I can't open that photo.  Dunno why.  However, advice is the same now I know it's in the ground.   Water, feed appropriately and keep it clear of competing plants and especially weeds and grass.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Neglected, poor old Frank Watkinson would turn in his grave.  Dig it up, chop the stems  back to about 6 inches, dig a fresh hole, re-plant deep and water thoroughly, then water again, then water some more.  Don't think about flowers just concentrate on making a substantial root ball
  • linsay_1linsay_1 Posts: 10
    Thanks very much for the replies, yeah first time gardener with a lot to learn! 
  • It's a not-easy plant to start with, Linsay, good luck.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,330
    Be brave.  Let us know how you get on.   Lots of clematis fans here and Richard's an expert.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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