Newbie with lots of questions

lisa0323(6)July 25, 2008

Hi everyone,

I'm very new to growing clematis and I have some questions. I have a nice, sturdy fence type wall for privacy near my deck in the backyard. Right now it has a HUGE trumpet vine growing on it that was planted by the previous owners. My husband and I really, really don't like the trumpet vine. It's very invasive and attracts a ton of bees. So, we've decided that we want to totally get rid of it and cover the wall with different types of clematis. Where do I start? We need to get rid of the trumpet vine - any advice on the best way to do that? Once it is gone can I buy the different clematis to plant this year or should I wait for the spring? What varieties do you recommend? I'd love to have some different ones so they bloom all throughout the spring and summer. I'm not picky about colors either. Do you have any ideas of places that I could get the plants pretty inexpensively. Also, the wall is sorta a zig-zag shape and it is about 15 feet long. How many different plants could I get to fill the area? I'd like to put them as close as I can to really cover the wall but I don't want to crowd them. Of course, expense is always an issue too. Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate it!


Lisa in Ohio

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Lisa unless you can dig up the complete roots of the trumpet vine its going to take you a few years to get ride of it completly. It took me 7 years to kill mine off.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Man! I knew it would be hard to get rid of but I didn't realize it would be that hard! Should I wait until it is completely gone to plant the clematis? Or can I get the bulk of it off the wall and as many roots out as I can and then plant the clematis? I figure I'll be pulling new trumpet vines up for quite some time.

Lisa in Ohio

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:09PM
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Trumpet vines are a real pain to get rid of. When you dig up the main rootball, you will see the strong, ropey roots going off in all directions (in my case, through my perennial borders and into the neighbour's yard). I just grabbed a hold of them and followed them to the end, if I could. I ended up messing up some of my grass, and parts of my border, but I just wanted it gone. Of course, it still kept popping up amongst my plants, so I actually resorted to using Round-up (the only time I have gone 'non-organic'), painted on with a brush, and it seemed to work. It took three years altogether to get rid of it totally. In my opinion, this vine belongs wayyyyyy out in the country, certainly not in an urban/suburban setting. On planting the clematis there, I would think you could put it in the spot where the original root ball was, as long as it was completely dug up. If you notice any old suckers coming up near the new clematis, just yank them up all the way to the end. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Funny, I just saw a trumpet vine at Steins today and thought to myself, how pretty. But, I recalled reading something about its invasiveness.

Lisa, fellow newbie. This is my first year with clematis. I've attached a pic of my clems on my fenceline so you can see how closely they are planted. Most were planted in early February, some within the past month or so.

Once you resolve your trumpet vine dilemma....

If you want clematis to fill in nicely, prune them down the first year during the growing season to promote root growth. I've pruned mine 3 times already, the best way to prevent spindly clematis in future years.

Heed the advice of the experts on this forum regarding planting, pruning, fertilizing, etc., and I'm sure you'll be rewarded with beautiful clematis in 2 or 3 years.

There are three different pruning types, all mine are type 3 clematis, and many that I chose are Viticellas which are known to be more wilt resistant. I've heard from other experts that if they could go back, they'd have all type 3's and no type 2's in their garden.

I've included a link for a website that explains the different pruning types, bloom times, etc. and a library of the varieties in existence.

A really fast grower of mine is Prince Charles, Polish Spirit is a close second. They always get to the top first, and just behind that is Viticella Etoile Violette and Bonanza. Polish Spirit is by far the fullest of them all, known to be a vigorous grower. Madame Julia Correvon is also vigorous, but she is only recently planted so I can't comment from personal experience. A beautiful red clematis - stunning, and if you see this one I wouldn't pass it up.

I've found that there are better deals on the internet for clematis than I've seen at my local nurseries(and a better variety in my opinion - I see a lot of purple Jackmanii at local nurseries, almost everyone has them, I walk around my neighborhood and I'm glad I have less common varieties).

I should also mention I missed the early season rush, and by the time I shopped locally they were already picked over, so I did much of my ordering online. That's fine, it worked in my favor anyhow.

I've found clematis with HUGE root systems from our local hardware store - Menards (believe it or not) - my Rouge Cardinal and Romantika.

If you purchase locally, just make sure you see the root system poking out the bottom of the pot to ensure you are getting a well established clem.
Silver Star Vinery has nice clems, but you'll pay a little more. I purchased my Minuet clematis from them - I HAD to have one - it's planted next to my Purple Leaf Sandcherry and I can hardly wait for it to grow - I think it's going to be a stunning contrast against the purple/red foliage.
Bluestone Perennials usually has a spring and fall sale online with everything half off. I got my Madame Julia Correvon for $4.97, and it has a decent root system. They also offer a lifetime guarantee on their plants.

Shop around early and late in the season, and check back periodically on this forum. Members usually post info regarding online sales.

I purchased 19 clems this year, all type 3's and mostly viticellas, and I got the majority of them for under $12. But, I also took advantage of the fact that some of the companies were going out of business, in the process of reducing their inventory. I got excellent deals for beautiful clems.

I asked around this forum for recommended varieties, took the advice of others, and these are the clematis I chose based on those recommendations:

Prince Charles
Rouge Cardinal
Viticella Venosa Violacea
Viticella Huldine
Polish Spirit
Viticella Purpurea Plena Elgans
Viticella Etoile Violette
Gipsy Queen
Warsaw Nike
Viticella Alba Luxurians
Viticella Minuet
Viticella Madame Julia Correvon

On the way:

Flore Pleno (Mary Rose)
Avant Garde

Good luck with your trumpet vine issue and with your future clems.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clematis On The Web

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 2:05AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

That looks like it's going to be a nice show along the paling fence. Trumpet vine, sounds a monster, what's it's proper name? Thought of cutting it off near the base(s) and painting the cut end with Glyphosate? Might kill it off.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:16AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Campsis radicans is the latin name of most vines called trumpet vine. Without a photo, I'm not positive. Personally, I love it but don't have one at my current house, it is too small. They do grow huge though not a huge as Wisteria.

Kimcoco, you were so right to use that wire on your fence. I've used nylon netting, wood lattice and chicken wire in situations not easily changed now but know that that wire fencing you have is one they climb better than the others.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Portland, I was REALLY hesitant at first to the point where I kept putting it off. My neighbor kept telling me I have to trellis the clems, they need something to climb...I was so afraid it was going to be an eye sore, but I was quite pleased with the results.

By the time my clems grow in you'll hardly notice it if at all, and it was easy enough to attach to the fence.

We also considered wood lattice - thank heavens for this forum for all the wonderful advice!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 2:52PM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

You must post a pic of the results when flowers appear on them clems that line the fence, kimoco. Campsis radicans, what do you know, I planted one last spring 'cause I saw it flowering in someone's front garden on me way to Mass one Sunday morning - the orangie flowers caught my eye. Wisteria, ok if you have the space in cooler climates than mine, 'cept it has a habit of succoring. I pulled it all up (the Campsis) a couple of months ago so my Mandevillea could take over the space. Thanks for that Buyorsell888.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 4:54AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

You are welcome. FYI Campsis suckers too. Watch for it to continue to come up.

My Mandevillea is in my greenhouse. Too cold for it here. I just repotted it and added a wire obelisk and it is really growing well.

Clematis don't climb wooden lattice as easily as wire. It is too thick for them to grip. I didn't realize and had DH do a bunch of projects for me with lattice.....I can't ask him to staple wire over them. I just can't so I spend a bunch of time weaving the dang vines through it and many times they break off.

They climb right up the wire.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:00PM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

Yeah, I can appreciate that, I have installed wire criss-cross! Know what I mean? Like lattice but much, much finer, and the clem. leaf tendrils are curling around it. Lattice would be too thick/wide. Umm, interesting clues come from visiting this site..

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 4:35AM
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Thank you so much to everyone that commented - especially you kimcoco. I loved how much detail you went into. And the picture of your fence line is great! I think I should have dh put some of the wire fencing on our wall thing as well. He cut all the trumpet vine down to about ground level the other day. What a HUGE job!! And that isn't even the worst of it I would imagine. We're going to put some Round Up on all the different vine edges and let that soak in for a quite a few days. Then he'll start working on digging up the roots. I sure can't wait until it is completely gone. I'm really looking forward to putting in the clematis. It is going to be so pretty! Now, is there any way to get starts off of people? Does clematis take off well from starts? If so is anyone willing to share some with me? :) Thanks again so much for all the advice!

Lisa in Ohio

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 5:00PM
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