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why don't my clematis look so good?

West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

I'm always amazed at how floriferous(hope I've spelt it right) other peoples clematis are. Mine only have a few flowers. I never prune them as they're sparse and die down naturally, what am I doing wrong? Do I have to be more ruthless?



would you happen to know which Celmatis it is that you have? You say it dies down completely to nothing in winter?

23 May, 2009


It's all my clematis! When I first planted them I couldn't bear to prune them as I couldn' wait for a flower. Now they just seem to sent up a few straggly stems. I think they are healthy and the flowers are beautiful, just not plentiful. Maybe they don't exactly die down but thre is a thin woody stem which I leave. Not sure which they are. I have a niobe and a blue moon, possibly a ville de lyon, rouge cardinal. can't remember all their names.

23 May, 2009


I can only suggest that you leave alone and do not prune this year... Hopefully someone will have better advice.

23 May, 2009


Clematis fall into three groups for pruning. Group 1 is the montanas, armandii and the early flowering ones like C. alpina and C. macropetala. They only need to be tidied up if necessary. The second group, Niobe is in this group, only need a 'haircut' in the early spring, not a hard prune. The third group, which all flower from mid-summer and include the others you've named, need to be cut hard back to a pair of healthy buds in early spring. That is also the time to feed all your Clematis...I use blood, fish and bone. Then feed them with liquid plant food every month, as they are greedy plants.

You can't prune them until next spring, but you can start feeding them all...I am sure that this will make a difference. Clematis do respond well to this 'programme'.

Good luck!

23 May, 2009


Thanks Spritzhenry, does that mean even if there's only one or two straggly woody stems I still cut them down? I obviously haven't really fed them properly either.

23 May, 2009


Yes, if that one is a group 3. Look for the lowest healthy buds!!

Get feeding now. They will thank you for it! :-)

23 May, 2009


Thanks, will do.

23 May, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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