Clematis forum: New to clematis

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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 7, 2015 10:26 AM CST
Looks good to me too
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 7, 2015 10:46 AM CST
I am new to this thread and to clematis. I've been wanting to add clematis to my garden for a long time, but have a lot of concerns.

I garden in terrible soil which we call "glacier slurry" comprised of tightly compressed rocks and clay and silt between them. I do have perfect drainage ... Smiling Up here and have found that I don't dare plant anything unless it has a large root mass ... at least a 3 gal nursery can. I never put any compost or manures in my planting holes ... learned that the hard way ... because when they decompose, the plants sink significantly. I back fill with the native soil with the rocks included after I've grown the plant up to have the larger root mass and put all amendments on top. It's worked well for roses and other plants, but I am not sure if it will work for clematis. Do you think this is the best way to give a clematis a good start ?

I am not sure about what is meant about "keeping the roots cool". I do mulch regularly. Is that sufficient ?

I have little or no shade in the gardening area. According the American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia, clematis can grow well in heat zone 8. Technically, I live in heat zone 8, but I live in the mountains and the light and heat are different at higher elevations. I am wondering if it will be just too hot for clematis. Our summer day temps are in the 90s and low 100s for months. Because of the heat, it is a challenge to keep plants moist in containers.

I do have the right size foam-type containers and a lot of larger nursery cans, but am concerned about over wintering the plant(s) because during the winter months, when we are not in drought, we get very heavy rains and some snow. Night temps can drop to single digits. To me, having everything planted in the ground is safer for plants because the soil never freezes. In a container, soil can freeze. There is no place to move any container to a more protected site for the winter months.

It sounds like I need to order the plants for spring, carry them through the summer and plant them out in fall. Am I correct ? Do clematis need to be potted up gradually to build the root mass ?

I know ... a lot of questions, but I do hope I can find a way to add clematis to this garden.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
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Bulbs Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Region: Texas Bromeliad
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TexasPlumeria87
Jun 7, 2015 10:57 AM CST
Thank you both.I saw that the cluster of leaves was shriveled, but I guess it's trying to get settled? Should I wait to give it fertilizer? The potting mix has compost in it already.
[Last edited by TexasPlumeria87 - Jun 7, 2015 10:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Jun 7, 2015 1:39 PM CST
Not sure how shriveled but if they're badly shriveled just cut them off - no harm will come to the clematis.

Wait to feed it since you've had it moved first to you and then you moved it twice. It needs a bit of recovery time.
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Butterflies Salvias Houseplants Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Bulbs Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Region: Texas Bromeliad
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TexasPlumeria87
Jun 7, 2015 2:27 PM CST
Ok I'll cut off the dead leaves and wait on the fertilizer. Thanks again Arlene.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Jun 7, 2015 4:51 PM CST
When you spot new leaves growing you can give it some ES.
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Butterflies Salvias Houseplants Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
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TexasPlumeria87
Jun 7, 2015 5:07 PM CST
Ok so should I just give it ES this first year?
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
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zuzu
Jun 7, 2015 6:10 PM CST

Moderator

Hi, Lyn. I never add compost or manure to my soil when I'm planting clematises, and I also add amendments only on top, so even though my soil is radically different from yours, it is possible to plant the clematises in this way, especially if it has worked with your roses. Drainage is the key, and if you have good drainage, you've won half the battle.

Mulch will, indeed, keep the roots cool. An article to be published later this week will illustrate several ways of keeping the roots cool, including groundcover plants and even rocks.

I'm in zone 9 and I haven't had trouble growing any clematis, so I'd say they're all heat tolerant. I don't have many days with triple-digit temperatures, but they do occur and the clematises have not wilted from the heat yet.

Under your conditions, you're right to keep plants out of the ground until they've developed a large root mass. Some mail-order nurseries do sell clematises with a large root mass. Silver Star Vinery is one of them, and it's having a sale right now. http://www.silverstarvinery.co...
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Jun 7, 2015 7:11 PM CST
Cameron - since you planted them with compost and manure, I wouldn't give them more food (just the ES) for this year.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Jun 7, 2015 7:14 PM CST

Moderator

I just noticed that Silver Star Vinery no longer ships to California, so forget about that source, Lyn.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 7, 2015 7:53 PM CST
Thank you, Zuzu.

Do you consider a one gallon can a large root mass ? If I can't get a plant with a large root mass, do I have to pot it up gradually to allow the plant to develop a larger root mass ?

I noticed on many of the nursery sites that clematis should be sited in partial shade. I don't have any partial shade in the gardening area. Is that a problem ?

I liked seeing that they start blooming in June. That's the month when I am dis-budding all of the roses for the curculios.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Cameron Allen
Plano, TX (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Butterflies Salvias Houseplants Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds
Bulbs Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Region: Texas Bromeliad
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TexasPlumeria87
Jun 7, 2015 7:57 PM CST
Thanks again Arlene. I need to move it where it gets more sun. I've had it in a partial shade area.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Jun 7, 2015 8:06 PM CST

Moderator

If the one-gallon can is full of roots, the mass is large enough to go into the ground. When I buy them locally, I buy the ones with roots creeping out of the drainage holes in the bottom.

Yes, if you want to keep it in a pot for a long time, you should pot it up gradually, the way you do with your roses, but it all depends on your reasons for keeping the plant in a pot. If you think the plant will get lost in the landscape and not receive the required attention, you could plant it next to a rose or another plant that does get regular attention.

I'm growing about 25 clematises in partial shade and more than 100 in full sun. I can't say that the former look better than the latter. Full sun is fine, as long as you keep the bottom shaded, but there are various ways of doing that. I had a nice collection of small pieces of shale left over from a fish pond project, so I cover the root area of the vine with shale.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Jun 7, 2015 8:18 PM CST
Cameron - you can gradually give it more sun but full, hot sun in Texas may be a bit much for a young plant.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 7, 2015 8:55 PM CST
Zuzu ...

I have found that with the roses, if I grow the root mass up to at least a three gallon can before planting, the rose takes off better and is a stronger and more vigorous plant. I think that is because the rose has to push its roots through the compacted glacier slurry beyond the planting hole.

In one comparison planting the same cultivar, it took the rose with the smaller root mass a couple of seasons to even begin to catch up to the one that started out from a three gallon can.

So, my only reason for potting up a plant gradually is to get the larger root mass. I have never grown a clematis, so I don't know if I should continue my three gallon can root mass rule of thumb with them.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 7, 2015 9:08 PM CST
With your strange soil conditions, I would go for a a clematis that is more hardy. I think the type 3 seem to be less fussy , like Princess Diana, Margaret Hunt, Jackmanii, Viticella Venosa Violacea. You also may feel better about paying less and letting it grow in a pot if you do find one locally
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Jun 7, 2015 9:26 PM CST

Moderator

And you can plant them with roses so the rose plant can be the shade giver for the roots.
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Jun 7, 2015 9:51 PM CST

Moderator

Right, Sue. That's also in the article coming up sometime this week. Smiling
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Clematis Garden Photography
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies
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Calif_Sue
Jun 7, 2015 9:52 PM CST

Moderator

nodding Thumbs up
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Handmade quilts, face masks, new & vintage fabrics in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 7, 2015 10:30 PM CST
Thank you, Ann. I live in an old gold mining town in the mountains of northern California. We have one small nursery and most of the plants are over-priced, so I don't shop there ... Smiling I'll definitely have to purchase plants by mail order. I do like the plants you mentioned in your post. It gives me a starting point. That's kind of why I am asking so many questions about the need to pot up a clematis gradually.

My soil is improving, but I doubt if it will ever be wonderful.

Sue, I had thought of planting them with the roses. I do have some blank spots in some of the beds I've created that need something that will add height and initially, I thought I would site them in those beds. The new clematis may end up in the rose beds because I do like the look of roses and clematis.

I think it is going to be fun learning how to grow something that I've never grown before.

Thank you all for your support.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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