How slow to grow?

jasminehearted(8)April 17, 2014

I orders a set of clematises (clematisai?) online. They are bareroot and trimmed back to about 14" (haven't seen them yet). One is a Warsaw Nike and the other is Diana's Delight - both type 2b (free bloomers, or so I'm told). I'm asking preemptively because I need to know where to place them based on how quickly they will grow.

Would a small plant like this flower in the first year? What about the second? If they are very vigorous I want to place them out front, if it's going to take a year or two to get past the scraggly stick phase and start to climb, I was thinking of starting placing them in pots this year or planting them in the back of the house. The backside of the house gets less low level sun because it's fenced - the top of the fence gets full sun, the base much less, so they would have shaded roots, if however they are slow, they may not get enough sun to grow well there until they are tall enough to reach up about 4-5 feet, thus putting them in pots so I can move them to good areas.

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Some people do grow in pots for the first year, and others plant into the ground.

However, most probably don't wait until the plant is 4-5 feet tall. At most, you could plant it when it is around 10-12" since most would plant theirs at 6-8" below the root ball or the level it was in the pot that they got or bought it in.

In short, your options of when to plant it are very wide and so you can have some flexibility on that point.

But as for how the plant will perform --- some clematis roots may not grow as good in the first year when it is developing more roots. In later years, you'll see marked differences in how it performs for growth and blooms.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 10:48PM
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IME the age and condition of the plant are most important, though I have never gotten a mail order clematis bare root. If it is well packed to minimize stress and it was a second or third year plant to start with, you might get some flowers this year. If it experiences stress in shipping and/or it is a relatively young plant, it will be next season before it blooms or even the following year. IME clematis need to have established a good root system before they start blooming well. If you look at the FAQ on this forum, it is recommended that young plants get cut back their first season or two, regardless of pruning type in order to encourage bushier plants, so they won't be too ornamental this year. If you buy a locally grown plant in a large nursery pot, it should bloom reliably the first year, but other than that, you will need to wait to see what the plant looks like before deciding where to put it.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:07AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

The general rule of thumb for how fast they grow is that the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap. Many of mine haven't done much of anything for the first few years, but you still need to get them into the sun, so I'm not sure I'd plant them near the fence when they're so small if they won't get much sun there. It's also a myth that they need shaded roots - what they need is water. I grow lots of clems and don't shade any of the roots. I'm not familiar with Diana's Delight, but I think Warsaw Nike is pretty vigorous and I think you'll have good luck with that one.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:47AM
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Thank you very much for your answers. When I actually get the plants, I'll come back and update with how they look and where I end up putting them so others can know my experience. I have a really nice sunny spot on a mounded bed with good drainage and moisture retention with a beautiful trellis where I was going to grow morning glory transplants I started this year, but the cold snap killed them, so I'll probably put the two plants at the base of that and let them do as they please with the hope they will wind together and their contrasting colors and similar typing as repeat bloomers will put on quite a show. The short roses in front will be pretty enough to give them time to fill in in a year or two without it looking ugly.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:54AM
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cagoldbear(9a - Houston)

I am excited to have planted a Blue Light in my backyard to climb up the swingset, but my landscapers mowed over the 4" sprout. I've placed bricks around the growth area (I thought the fresh mulch might be obvious, but whatever), but I'm concerned that the lack of new shoots might indicate the cutback was too early in the seedlings' life to regain consciousness. In a southern climate, I wonder if it might have been for the better, since I may need to place the clem on the north side of my house instead - our Texas summers are intense. What do you folks think?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Give it a few weeks to recoup. I accidently snapped the stem off at ground level when planting my Omoshiro, it is showing new growth within a few days. You can always move it in the fall or sooner if it comes back, but struggles through the first hot summer are normal for our heat. They get better every year.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:05PM
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I received my clematis yesterday and I was generally pleased with their condition. Nice long, full roots at least about 8-12". I soaked them for about an hour and then planted them in some nice potting soil. I ended up deciding to pot them so I could keep an eye on them until they are a little bigger to put in the ground (maybe fall?)

How old do you think these are? Maybe 2 years?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:34PM
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And a shot of them in the cups soaking. Hopefully, they'll be OK. I made sure to plant them deeper than the root crown. How do these look to you health and quality wise? I got them from birdsongfarm_wi on ebay when they were on sale.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:37PM
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Jasminehearted, I also purchased a few clematis from birdsongfarm on Ebay. For the price I would say they were OK. They were bare root, but well wrapped and healthy looking like yours. I also potted mine up and will probably wait until they get a lot of new growth and strong stems before I plant them. Early fall if they don't get too big before than. Yours look about the same size as mine. I am not sure I would buy any that small again, I need to see how well they do in the next month.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 11:44PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I would not have potted them together. I'd put each one in a gallon nursery can and then into the garden in the fall.

Unless they were under seven or eight bucks including shipping, you probably paid too much.

Clematis are quite slow. They do best with hard pruning the first couple of years too.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:26PM
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I paid $9.00 each for two I purchased and they sent me three, so I think I did ok. They are Guernsey Cream that I was having a hard time finding, so if they all survive I will be happy. Debra

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:30PM
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What BorS said about separate pots . . . The root systems can get fairly large, and it will be less impact on the plants to not have to separate them when you plant them. Watch the moisture levels carefully over the summer, and if you are in a hot sunny area, I'd consider giving them a bit of shade in the hottest part of the day while they are in containers to prevent drying out too much.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Will their roots really get so entangled by fall? I hope was to plant them together at the same site so they could intermingle their flowers and look fuller faster. If it's best to separate them I will certainly do so; how close can they be planted together when they are ready to go into their final location?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:36AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Yes, the roots will get tangled together by fall. Starter plants may grow enough root during the summer to fill a gallon container. If you have a space you can put the pot and all in the ground which will help keep the container from drying out as quickly. When I plant mine in the ground and want them to be close enough for the vine to mingle together on the same trellis I plant them two feet apart.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:45PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

What mnwsgal said :)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:39PM
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