Duh! I bought the wrong Clematis for a container to train up a pergola.

I was all chuffed with myself today took hubby to the GC and then succeeded to talk him into purchasing two delightfully large pots to place by the posts of the pergola. Then it was time to choose two climbers and the lovely guy serving saw me gently untangling two clematises, next minute they are at the till, and home we came.

Having now planted them, tied them and cut them back at bit (okay a lot)  On reading the bumpf I realised that the 'Comtesse de Bouchard' is to be cut back to 12 inches high each Feb. Not sure about the  'Ville de Lyon'  

D'oh! I am very disappointed as cutting them to almost ground level seems to defeat the object. image  

So all you lovely people please share what climbers would be a good choice? The pots are 45cm diameter and hold about 50 litres of compost.       


  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Caral don't panic, I don't know what pruning category these two fall into, someone will. You haven't killed them, just rather delayed any flowers for this year. If it says prune in March they flower on new growth and you've cut that off. If they have a second flush you might get a few flowers, but you will have a good plant next year.  

    I'd still have planted them as you have and planted deeply as they want roots in shade. Leave room to top pots up a bit in following years. They might flower later this year image but deffo next year. image

  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Thanks KEF. So you don't think that I've made a mistake in planting them? I think their pruning cat is #3. Which is hard pruning I believe, cut back to 8- 12 inch.

    I haven't dug them up as yet because its raining. image  

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 2,197

    I think they'll be fine Caral. Those type of clematis usually put on masses of growth in spring and romp away - my Polish Spirit got the chop to 12" in February and is now going great guns and must be 5 ft high already. It flowers late summer, not sure when yours flower without looking them up.

    If you've got a big pergola, you might have tried a clematis montana, maybe "Mayleen"but it is a bit of a monster and would need planting in the ground not in a pot.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 15,162

    You cut them back each Feb or March so they grow new stems which provide fresh foliage and the flowers.  They also need a generous feed at this time.

    Clematis planted now are already growing and do not need pruning back.  They just need to be planted 4" or more deeper than tehy were in the pot as this helps keep their roots cool and also encourages production of more flowering shoots.

    Give them a good watering in and then tie in their stems to their support.   Keep tying them in as they grow.  You can give them a boost of liquid rose or tomato food once a week till mid July to help promote extra flowers.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think the two clematises I've bought are not going to do what I was hoping. I needed them to grow a minimum of 20ft. Hubby has talked me into getting an american wisteria for the pergola. And I will find new homes for the two clematis.

    Shame its raining here, so not much will be happening today. image  

  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Sorry, but one more question. Would these clematises be okay grown up a wigwam of 8ft canes?   

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 2,197

    No problem Caral.

  • CaralCaral Posts: 301

    Thanks Lizzie, that's Brilliant, might pop one of them (the one with flower buds) in the veg patch to cheer it up, as I've had a bit of a disaster with veggies this year.


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