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Advice on climbers

Lynn142Lynn142 Posts: 127
We have a few climbing plants (only 2 years old)- clematis, passion fruit & not sure what the other one is?? - which are growing well but there is a lot of straggly growth. I don’t know if I should have pruned them previously or now. Can anyone please offer any advice as I don’t want to prevent these climbers from developing as they should. We’re on the south coast opposite the Isle of Wight.

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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,981
    Hi @Lynn142 - do you know what clematis it is? That determines the pruning regime.
    You seem to have an awful lot in a small space too. They're all very close to that fence as well.
    Passion fruit can get very rampant, and there's ivy as well. Possibly a honeysuckle, although I'm struggling to see them all properly.
    Most climbers need decent soil, water, and a fair bit of room to thrive. 
    What distance are you trying to cover? Even a passion fruit and an average clematis would need around fifteen feet, and more,  of horizontal space alone. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Lynn142Lynn142 Posts: 127
    Hello @Fairygirl. Thank you for your reply & yes, I realise many of these climbers are now too close but I did that in order to cover the old fencing we inherited. Unfortunately, we have lost the plant label for the clematis but I know we have a Lonicera x tellmanniana, a passion fruit and a honeysuckle as you observed. We have since turned over the whole bed and incorporated Our own domestic compost so hope this will help all the plants. However, I am wondering what to do about all the straggly growth - any suggestions are welcome.
  • mikeymustardmikeymustard Posts: 492
    edited April 2020
    Unless that clem is a Montana I think there's a real chance it's going to be severely out-competed by those honeysuckles in a very short time! If you can remember when it flowered then that (usually) dictates when you should prune it - if it's got buds that look like flowering in the next couple of weeks or so then it's probably a group1 or 2, which you're sposed to chop back after its 1st flush of blooms. All the other climbers should be able to cope with (and would probably benefit from) a good haircut: just chop back to some strong buds. Of course, you could just bite the bullet and do the same to the clematis - you might lose some early flowers but it shouldn't hurt it
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,981
    I'd agree with @mikeymustard - you'll find the most thuggish will just outgrow the others, although it will also depend on the rate they all establish. Some competition can be a good thing.
    A good haircut will certainly be beneficial - if nothing else, it will let you see what's doing well and what isn't.
    A general feed and plenty of water, and at this time of year, they will all start to grow away. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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