Fine, you were all totally right. Now what? ;)

lilgreenfrogJuly 28, 2008

So, I posted on here in May about my Niobe that had died back. I was sure I was drowning it, so I dug it up and potted it, only to find that the dirt felt nice and the roots seemed healthy.

Long story short, it died all the way back, and I was sure it was dead, and everyone here said, no, no, give it time, it may need a year to recover, but it'll probably be fine!

Riiiiight, I thought. Whatever...I'll throw it out when I need the pot...

So, ahem. Its currently blooming. *blush*.

But now what? I'll probably have a killing frost in mid October, and I wanted to replant it to get it established before then. However, its 98 degrees here most days, with no rain/cloud cover. I could keep it in its pot over the winter in my garage, but I'm sure it's rootbound.

I had planned to re-plant it in its old location, which is on the south side, in FULL sun. However, in reading up on Niobe, someone mentioned that it did the best for them planted where "it gets just a little more shade than sun during the day". It's sitting in dappled shade right now...I could plant it in part shade and wouldn't need to worry about the blistering heat so much.

Also, (sorry to be so full of questions!) I'm finally getting used to planting roses, where the roots are Not To Be Disturbed under any circumstances...what do I do with rootbound clematis roots? Unwind them and spread them out? Not even think of touching them, ever, ever?

Opinions please! I'd hate to lose it, after it's worked so hard to prove me wrong!

Thanks so much,


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I am NO expert on clematis. But, I would plant it now. If it's rootbound, it's ready. I've never heard that roots of roses should never be disturbed under any circumstances. When I yank mine out of the ground to relocate them, they are certainly disturbed. Fascinating.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 6:13AM
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I plant and transplant whenever the mood strikes me from spring through the first snow.

I planted an Arabella a couple of weeks ago. It was really suffering in its pot. Not long after I put it into the ground it started blooming like crazy.

About the roots. We recently dug out a rose bush. It was planted when I was afraid to mess with the roots. One very large root was growing in a circle, just like it was growing in the pot.

Over the years I've become pretty rough with the rootball before planting and root prune if necessary, then I use rooting hormone or root stimulator when planting.

I know this is very controversial, but I don't get how growing clematis out in pots, in artificial soil (potting soil) is more beneficial than getting them into the soil it will be growing in.

If you plant your clematis now, in the heat, you have to make sure you water well and often, and try to provide afternoon shade.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:42AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)'ve been given some good advice..go ahead and plant and remember to continue to water to keep the roots moist..plant 2-4 inches deeper than the pot you now have it in will ensure its roots stay moist and get stronger..
Janet..the purpose of "potting-up" a clematis before introducing it to your gardens is generally for those that are considered very small clematis that don't have a mature root system..potting up and sinking the pot in the soil of the garden accomplishes two things..#1. It keeps the plant & its roots "contained" in a smaller area of soil so when watered will help to focus the water where it needs to be..on the roots, because if in the ground the gardener can't be sure if they are watering often enough and if the water is staying with the plant and not running off and leaving the plant depriving it of the neccessary moisture...that is a reason why when I plant roses I build a well out of dirt around my rose so when watering the water stays in the well and sinks down to focus on the roots.
#2. Telling the person to make sure the roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot lets the gardener know the roots have matured enough to be introduced to the garden and a better chance of many people that are novices to clematis see them wilt and assume they are dead and stop watering that spot and then the plant really does die from lack of water.. Potting up ..especially the pruning group 2's which are suseptible to will less likely suffer wilt....Hope this helps...Jeanne

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:22AM
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Thank you everyone! I'll get her into the ground. What's the opinion on final sun exposure? Is "Most of the day" too much for this plant? Should I find another "half shade" spot instead?

And I'll plant her deep, and will probably spread out the roots. I too had learned to hack up rootbound roots, or at least untangle them, to get them to go looking other places (i.e. into the garden dirt).


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:43PM
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Hi Lara, 1st off, from what I hear, gardening at your altitude is a whole different ball game than the rest of us being you are that much closer to the sun. I am in z5 Wisconsin & have my Niobe growing in full sun from 11am til sundown & does fabulous. I hope that helps somewhat.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 6:24PM
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I've made wells or motes around many of my perennials and shrubs in the past - it works well. :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 6:56AM
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I'm guessing that the advice about keeping it out of p.m. sun would be so that it holds its dark color better, though I've not had that problem where I live. Come to think of it, it does get p.m. shade and it does open more slowly than others, allowing it to preserve its initial velvety maroon look longer, perhaps.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Providing afternoon shade will cut down on transpiration somewhat. Even though I mean to shade my transplants, I rarely do, but it does help keep them from looking so sulky.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:10AM
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