The Q&A Archives: Tree Stump

Questioner's Location: Buffalo, NY
Date: November 13, 1999

Question: I planted a fall blooming clematis, but now the roots are comming exposed. I dont think I planted it deep enough. should I dig it up now, before winter? Or should I wait untill spring?

Answer: You need to do something now if the roots are exposed -- they will freeze. You have a bit of a choice depending on how long the plant has been there. If you planted it this fall I would reset it now. If you planted it last spring I think I would wait. If you decide to reset it next spring, then mound a generous amount of soil around it and top that with mulch (but don't put it over the stem). Otherwise, dig it up with a very generous root ball and reset it deeper now. Be sure to water it well the day before you dig it and water it well after you reset it. Your clematis should always be kept mulched, too, as it needs a cool root run during the summer as well as ample moisture to do its best. This type of clematis can be cut back petty hard in the spring since it blooms on new growth of the season; be sure to do that next spring to offset any root loss and make sure it is watered next year just as a newly planted plant would be. Good luck with your clematis!

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