Clematis forum: New to growing clematis

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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 9, 2018 7:43 PM CST
I have a root bound 'Crystal Fountain' in a gallon nursery can that is showing signs of life and the only thing I know is that it needs a bigger container .... Smiling

I live in the mountains of northern California and get somewhat cold temps in winter and very hot temps during the summer months.

I bought this plant on impulse because it was on sale and was already not looking all that good last fall.

This is going to sound awful, but I put it on the patio and had planned to select a site for it and plant it out last fall. I forgot it was there ... Sighing! It looked totally dead when I was cleaning up the patio work area for winter, so I just set it aside.

It has grown 10" in the last week. It's certainly not dead .. Smiling

I need to pot it up into a container for this season. How large of a container should I pot it up to ? Do clematis need a heavy or light container potting soil? Should I wait to feed it ?

In other words, I really do not know what to do with this plant and would love some advice.

Thank you in advance.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
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Altheabyanothername
Apr 11, 2018 7:56 AM CST
Lyn-- I will tell you what works in my area Texas 8A. Because Clematis like damp not soggy and you need a trellis or support, I would go with a bigger pot. Here I try to use containers at least 16 to 18 inches or bigger so if a watering is missed the plant will be okay. I fill the bottom with pinecones and compost if you have it, which help keep even moisture in the pot. Then a good potting mix, but not a moisture control one. Because clematis have great root systems if it starts looking droopy and has been watered, it may need an occasional soaking from the bottom. Hope this has been helpful.

Edited to say : My clematis seem to be heavy feeders. They are around roses here and get what the roses get. Fertilizer, Epsom Salts, Alfalfa Tea, Compost etc.

May you and your home have an overabundance of blessings!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
[Last edited by Altheabyanothername - Apr 11, 2018 8:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
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fwmosher
Apr 11, 2018 8:30 AM CST
Can't argue with any of the sage advice offered by Sharon Rose. Lyn I am just as guilty as you, in that I only discovered when the ground first froze last year, a tiny new Clematis in the basement, which I had forgotten to plant! LOL. So I barely kept it alive through the Winter, but it is still alive! I have a lot of Clematis, they are (will be) growing up fences or arbours or trellises everywhere very soon. Noticed a lot of buds forming on the old canes on a bunch of Clematis the other day which is the main reason why I will never prune any Clematis until I can establish what canes are still alive! Don't care what "the book" says! Anyway, here is my two cents worth: Clematis will grow to have huge root systems-huge!!! If there is any way that you could plant it out, that in my opinion would be the best course. Here, some Winters the temps go down to - 20C, and I seldom lose a Clematis. They love heat as well with the old adage being: "Keep their roots in the shade, and their tops in the Sun." So, if you could plant some low growing shrub in front of it, or put a 24" planter box in front of it, loaded with any annual that will grow where you are (preferably with a colour that either compliments or contrasts - there's your shade! Love to see an end of summer pic, no matter what option you choose. Cheers
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 11, 2018 8:06 PM CST
Thank you Sharon and Frank .... I tip my hat to you.

This is the first vine I have ever grown, so I am probably over-thinking the whole thing, but I think eventually it will have to go in the ground. I just don't have a site prepared for it with real soil.

The light up here is quite intense, so full sun is burning full sun. I only have a couple of places where there is some dappled shade on the house pad level of my property.

I can only purchase moisture controlled potting soil up here, so I generally lighten it so that it drains well. It sounds like my normal practice will get the soil mixture right. I hope ... Crossing Fingers!

Do I break up the root ball when I pot it up, or just place it in the new container ?
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
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Altheabyanothername
Apr 11, 2018 8:40 PM CST
Lyn-- I think clematis like a dark rich soil with organic material. I started all my clematis from bare root. My research said to keep it in a pot and not rush it into the ground. The first year I keep clipping them down to force more energy into root growth. A good root system will send up more vines, more vines = fuller plant that can support more flowers. So living in a container for awhile can make it stronger. I purposely kept mine in pots for two years before putting in the ground. I am in Texas and mine grows under a Crepe Myrtle for morning sun and dappled afternoon sun. I think you are like me... Full sun never means full sun here. Maybe I get a few less flowers, but at least it is alive and green with some shade. Try to gently open roots up with out breaking them. Although they easily fill a pot with their roots, I have not seen them get severely root bound in a pot. But if they are you may want to soak the roots and see if you can unbind them. If you can take care of roses this will be s snap.
Good Luck.

May you be blessed with success!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 11, 2018 11:14 PM CST
Sharon, thank you .. I tip my hat to you.

I am gardening in rock ... Hilarious! I always make a point of growing a larger root mass for all of my plants before I put them into the ground, too. I just didn't know enough about clematis to know if they could stand being in a pot for a couple of years.

I generally pot up roses gradually because I get a healthier root mass ... even my bare root roses ... Smiling

We all develop our gardening philosophies as we learn to garden. One of my mantras has been that if a plant had a healthy root mass, it could almost handle anything Nature throws at it. So far, this has held true.

Yes, it sounds like our "sun" is very similar. I am not certain how much shade the dogwood will throw this year. I had it pruned and it needs to fill in again. I know I am going to have to move the heucheras I had planted under the tree because the canopy of the dogwood is smaller and now they don't have the shade they need.

I joined NGA to learn how to grow other plants. I understand roses, but I am still learning about other plants.

I am curious about other clematis plants, too. @Dirtdolphins mentioned scramblers. That's the first time I've heard that term associated with clematis. Does that mean they don't climb or need support ? Will they work in dry shade up on a slope ?
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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dirtdorphins
Apr 14, 2018 7:08 PM CST
The dirty dolphin doesn't get the message that way Lyn Hilarious! , sorry--
The 'scramblers' don't really climb; they kinda weave thru other plants nicely and use them for support. There are also shorter 'shrub' like clems that don't need support. Dry shade, though, is not what any of them prefer. It might work, but I don't know.
They can do semi-shade with irrigation easily Smiling
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 14, 2018 7:45 PM CST
Thank you, Dirt ... I tip my hat to you.

I was just curious. I don't water up there, so I guess the scramblers are not the right plant for that part of the slope ... Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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