Dividing a Clematis

tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)March 7, 2010

I will be transplanting my Gillian Blades to a new spot. I don't think this plant is all too happy where it is located now.

I do however wonder, what damage would I do if I chopped the root ball in half and subdivided the plant? I'm just not sure how damaging this would be to the plant in general.

It is at least 8-10 year old plant, and she is just not happy in that spot. For the last 3 years, it has yeilded about 8 flowers per year. I have tried to ammend the soil with compost and have always fed it well with rose tone. I have trimmed out all the ugly dead wood (it was left for years with out care prior to us purchasing this home) but that didn't help either. I realize it is group 2 and blooms on old wood. The first 2 years I hadn't trimmed it at all and it still not put out many flowers.

It is presently in full sun and I have read that this plant prefers part shade. That info is what has prompted me to move it.

Last fall, I cut it down to 12" from the ground, hoping a fresh start would help this season. There are a bunch of sprouts shooting out from the mulch, just waiting for Spring to officially arrive.

Can you guide me as to what is best to do to make this plant happier and more productive. Like I mentioned, I'd really like to get two out of it, if possible.


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For the vining types of clematis, division is generally not recommended. You do risk damage to the rootball and possibly the loss of the plant(s). For the nonvining herbaceous types, this may be a somewhat less risky process. Most growers favor layering over division for successful propagation.

Here is a link that might be useful: a relatively recent thread on this topic....

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 2:03PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I would leave it where it is. Cutting it down to a foot tall last year is likely just what it needed!!!

Gillian does not require partial shade. Being in full sun would not make her bloom less. Improper pruning and few stems would. All Clematis need hard pruning the first few years and benefit when they are scraggly at any age.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:13PM
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