Transplanting Clematis - Knowledgebase Question

Pittsfield, IL
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Question by conkl
January 19, 1998
Can I transplant my clematis from the front yard to the back in early spring with out influencing the chance of it blooming this summer? And how far back do you prune the vine in the spring for new growth?

Answer from NGA
January 19, 1998
How to prune clematis depends on what type you have. Named varieties of hybrid clematis bloom in 2 different ways: some bloom on wood grown the previous year and some on wood grown in the same year. Clematis in the Jackman group of hybrids (such as jackmanii) bloom on new growth (wood grown in the same year). You have to watch where the blossoms occur on clematis to determine if they are on new or old wood. (Unless you know the variety). If you wish to prune the varieties that bloom on new wood, do soin spring as the buds swell or slightly before. You can prune to within 4-6" of the base if you wish. If the clematis flowers on old wood, prune dead and broken growth in the spring. After flowering, a portion of old shoots should be cut back severely. You can move the clematis but it very well may affect blooming. Any time you disrupt a plant's root system you take that chance. It shouldn't be permanently detrimental, just for this season. You may have no trouble at all and get bloomsgalore, but, moving a plant definitely influences it in many ways. Be sure to give your clematis a lot of TLC when you move it in the form of working in a lot of organic material (compost, leaf mould, composted cow manure, etc.) and perhaps a bit of bonemeal in the new area. That will increase your chance of getting blooms this season. Also, don't forget it's critical to keep on top of watering after moving a plant.

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