I want a Clematis, now what?

nwrose(PNW)May 31, 2011

Reading these posts makes me want a clematis...all atemps have failed; the evergreen, montana and ones with large flowers.... death from wilt to no return in the spring.

I live in the northwest zone 7. I'm on a lake that slopes, med bank. I can't control the wetness our winters bring. My sun is mid day a least 6 hours. Old Garden Roses do well, many perenials, hostas, rhodys, maples, day lilies, hydraingeas all do well. So so are peonies, iris and

t roses.

Wet feet could be my worst factor, but I can build a retained rockery with a free standing trellis. Do you know what variety would be the most dependable? Should I plant it in a lot of compost with added grit for better drainage? Would a larger sized plant be better than a younger one and should it be planted now, spring or in the fall?

Your help is appreciated.



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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Clematis generally thrive here though the viticella and texensis types get mildew in summer.

If roses are fine Clematis should be fine. It is better to start with a large plant and a large hole well amended with compost rather than just sticking in a small hole in native soil. I have some that have sulked for years that went into poor holes.

Fall is best to plant but the selection is best in spring. I just planted two last week and will continue to plant until it gets really hot, if it gets really hot.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 5:04PM
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I agree with BorS - clematis in the PNW are pretty darn easy :-) Several of the better mail order sources are located here as well as one of the largest west coast wholesale growers. And if you can grow all the other plants you list, you should be able to grow clematis, too.

To avoid wilt, pick species clematis or those included in pruning group 3 - most of these are very resistant. I have not even had many issues with powdery mildew. Just prepare the soil and planting hole careful, puchase a mature plant (1G or larger) or grow a smaller one on in a container, plant deeply and prune hard the first couple of seasons. Make sure they do not dry out in our usually rainless summers. Fall is an ideal time to plant but I plant whenever I snag one at the nursery :-)

You should be good to go!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 10:00PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I have been unable to grow them from mail-order nurseries or from small plants, but I bought a #5 nursery Mme Julia Correvon last year for fifty bucks and the thing has really taken off. Well worth it. Two bare root plants cost me almost as much with shipping etc., one died immediately and the other (Etoile Violette) is six inches tall after over a year. I recommend buying one big, established plant from a good nursery.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:03AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Here in the PNW they are available at nearly every plant outlet from grocery stores to garden centers in one gallon pots from ten to twenty bucks. Should be no trouble to find nice big ones.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Great info. Thank you for your time. I am encouraged!!!
As I suspect wet feet my biggest probelm, as well as foggy heavy air...would planting on a burm or building a retained area with rocks in the bottom be good?
When you buy a plant, will it say which group it is in, ie: how do you know which it is. I'm sure buying from a full service nursery like Valley Nur, Clear Ck or Rosedale could help. (Whatever happened to Peninsula?) But otherwise...?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:22PM
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nwrose, from those nursery references, I assume you are in the Kitsap area? I am also and actually work at one of them :-)

Contact me directly... I'll get you growing some great clematis!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:00PM
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Kitsap area is correct, gardengal48. Attemps to conact you directly failed... I don't know how to reach you, but your offer to get growing some great clematis sounds great!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:01AM
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