Transplanting Clematis - Knowledgebase Question

Brooklyn, NY
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Question by strobing
May 24, 1999
I am moving this month and will miss my 3 15 yr. old clematis plants a great deal. One is in bloom and the others are about to start. Is there any way to transplant them? I would need to cut them back a lot to free them. Can they survive a move?

Answer from NGA
May 24, 1999
I can well imagine why you will miss them! Although it is possible to transplant clematis, it would be better to do it very early in the spring when they are not in active growth, trimming back by about two thirds, digging as large a root ball as possible and replanting immediately into an already prepared hole, then watering carefully for a year or longer and taking care to keep the plant well mulched. If you tried it now, removing much of the top growth would actually be a good thing because it would help to balance the root loss caused by digging them up, especially in the face of the oncoming heat of summer. If you do this, please understand the risk of losing the plants in spite of your efforts. If you are moving due to the sale of the property, you should also check to be sure you are allowed to remove any plants -- often you are not.

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