The Q&A Archives: niobe clematis

Question: Hi, when we lanscaped our pool area my lanscape architect put niobe clematis around my fence. the tops are growing and flowering but the bottoms near the ground and up a foot look dead. Is this normal. Also when the flowers die should i cut the remaining string like things on or cut them off. Thanks for your help

Answer: The Clematis ?Niobe?, Jackmanii x group, has dark red with gold anthers blooms that flower in June to July and range in height of 6-10? and has a spread of 3?. The red flowers are approximately 6-8? wide. Clematis ?Niobe? received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society and one can see why. The foliage is dark green and makes a great contrast with the flower color. Clematis prefers full sun but will tolerate shade in the morning in a well-drained area.

It is best to avoid heavy pruning on this perennial until it is fully established. Clematis ?Niobe? needs a supporting structure to grow properly but will also grow over large shrubs. The tops of Clematis prefer full sun while their roots prefer a cool, shady area. It is best to heavily mulch the root zone to provide this cool, shady area.

Niobe is a Group II Clematis for pruning purposes, which means that in early spring you should cut back the vine 6 or 8 inches to the nearest pair of strong leaf axil buds. As you prune your clematis back, it should encourage new growth near the bottom of the plant. You'll also find new shoots emerging from the root area as the plant becomes more established. This, too, will help the bottom portion of the plant fill out. You can prune the dead flowers off or leave them alone; they will fall of all on their own.

Enjoy your garden!

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