Jackmanii clematis already showing new growth

gabbo23January 30, 2010

Hello! I live in Portland, Oregon, and I noticed my Jackmanii clematis -- which I was waiting to prune back until early spring -- is already showing little green shoots everywhere. And it's only January. Should I prune back to 12 inches from the ground now, even though we're not even close to the end of winter yet? Or wait? If anyone has advice, I'd surely appreciate it. Thanks!

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gabbo23, I live in Southern Oregon and my clems are all budded up and looking enthusiatic. This doesnt usually happen for us until the end of Feb. but thanks to El Nino everything seems to be pushing the limits, I just hope we dont get hammered with a March frost that kills everything. As to your pruning question the other experts will post I expect, but you would be fine, I think, to take down your stems to where you would normally prune to as you probably have fat buds all the way along the stems and Jackmanii is such a vigorous grower that I dont see that you would lose much. Just my opinion though:). Kat

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 4:02PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

I agree KitKat with your idea. I normally prune all my clematis the last of December or the first of January so they are done and ready to go come spring. During early spring I have too many other activities occupying my time to take care of it then!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Because our winter has been SO mild - January was the warmest on record here - many plants are weeks ahead of the season. All my clematis are showing lots of new growth as well. You can prune now or wait. If you wait, it doesn't hurt the plant to remove stems showing new growth.

In my Puget Sound area, February can often offer the worst weather of the year. I prefer to wait to prune but it's your choice.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 9:16AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I am also in Portland and I pruned a bunch yesterday. I love El Nino!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Boy, I wish I had your problems right now. Here's a pix of my clematis at the moment:

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 2:20PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Wow growdarnit, that is one heap of a mess of snow! Snow fixes nitrogen as the snow forms in the atmosphere so just think about how your clematis will benefit.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:47PM
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My garden looks like that as well. Miguel, somehow your explanation of snow fixing nitrogen just doesn't impress me at this point in the year when people in Oregon are talking about buds showing up. Sigh. I need to move south [thanks for the info nonetheless]

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 7:56PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Yeah, I know Michael, just trying to pick something positive out of what many see as a negative :). Those of us further south escape, for the most part, those winter snows that last all season. However I must say that this winter has so far been snowier and colder than any we have seen for many years. I have had snow in the colder, sunless, northfacing parts of the garden since the snow we had the week before Christmas. Fortunately, the snow in other parts of the yard has come and gone.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 9:14AM
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I guess this is not the time to mention about the incredible weather we have been experiencing in the PNW this winter :-) Cherries and purpleleaf plums are blooming now as are most spring flowering bulbs. Early rhodies and euphorbias are just coming into flower and most winter dormant perennials are emerging and deciduous shrubs are showing signs of budding. All the winter flowering plants - witch hazels, winter hazels, hellebores, honeysuckles and daphnes - are in full bloom and some even starting to go over. I expect my Clematis armandii 'Apple Blossom' to bloom any day. The soils are beginning to heat up and folks are already planting early season veggie crops.

Oh....it was 63F here yesterday under pristine blue skies and is expected to be the same again today and tomorrow :-) And they call this the gray and rainy northwest!! (Honestly, we do have more of that in the forecast for sure, but temperatures are predicted to remain well above normal for the foreseeable future - viva El Nino!!)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 12:45PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

GG, witch hazels have been blooming here since mid-January or so, at least the one that I have in the garden. Do they typically bloom much later out in the PNW? Same goes for some of the hellebores, lonicera fragrantissima, and lonicera purpussi. Had to google winter hazel to see what they looked like. Had heard of them mentioned before but had never seen them in bloom.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 8:37AM
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Miguel, the winter blooming plants were pretty much on schedule.......depending on variety, most witch hazels bloom here from mid January on, ditto the others. Some hellebores will start blooming as early as November here (H. niger) but because we are so far north, it always seems to be a few weeks later than more southerly locations in the same zones. But maybe not :-)

What really amazes me are the number of spring blooming plants already popping into bloom and even the budding up of those that show off later. We seem to be 4-6 weeks ahead of normal for this time of year.

We did have one period of severe cold in early December - even broke a couple of records. Hopefully it was long enough to snuff out any insect issues, because it's been incredibly mild ever since and projected to remain so. It was 65F at my place yesterday and I've not had to wear anything warmer than a sweatshirt jacket outdoors for weeks. I saw someone in a tank top and shorts yesterday and umpteen folks in flip-flops, which are the footwear of choice around here in summer. And it's still only February!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:12AM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Wow, it does sound like a premature spring. Hope you don't get walloped with a bitter cold spell after all those plants are out. This winter has been colder and snowier for us than what we have had for years now. Today we are finally up into the fifties and supposed to be up into the 60s tomorrow. The extended forecast shows cold weather heading back this way next Friday. I just want the snow on my back patio to go away. I have never seen snow stick around for so long here and you know what they say if it lays around--that it is waiting on more to join it! LOL

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 2:11PM
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I am on record as saying I do not think we will have a cold snap

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:48PM
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