What is the best fertilizer for clematis? IYO

lakemayor(5)July 10, 2011

What are the feelings out here about the best fertilizer for clematis. I have fed mine time release general fertilizer and Miracle Grow. I don't have any blooms this year and last year just a couple. I assume I need something for the flower because I have plentiful beautiful leaves. What do you use?

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

General fertilizers usually have too much Nitrogen for blooms and Miracle Gro does too. Miracle Gro isn't really the best fertilizer for plants in the ground. It does nothing to enhance the soil just a quick boost to the plant. I use it on potted annuals only. Ditto Osmocote. They are both really formulated for potted annuals that bloom all season not for permanent plantings in the ground. I use organic rose or tomato fertilizer on my clematis as well as alfalfa pellets and compost. I compost my entire garden annually. I'm aiming to improve my clay soil rather than just boost plants for a short time which may weaken them long term.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:50PM
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ditas

Hi BoS ~ would tomato spikes be ok to use ~ package says 2 spike per plant? I use Rose-tone for the few roses I have ~ do we use all 3 in combination per package recommendations (somewhere I read to use 2tbs of the Alfalfa pellets per plant) or do we use less since there are 3 of them?

TIA!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:25PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Tomato spikes don't deliver fertilizer very well other than right under the spike. Not very efficient. They certainly would not hurt. I use Rose-Tone myself and I just toss handfuls of the alfalfa pellets which I buy cheap at a feedstore. Big bags for horses are much cheaper than small boxes for rabbits and don't have added salt.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 4:36PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

buyorsell, do you have any problems with rabbits or deer being attracted to the alfalfa pellets? Just toss some around the clematis sounds like an easy way to use them. I did the alfalfa tea last year, reeked!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:10AM
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lakemayor(5)

What about bone meal? Is that too much nitrogen? Also, my clematis is planted in landscape fabric with river rocks on top so I really can't amend to soil with compost although we do have a big compost pile. What do you suggest I do about that?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 7:06AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

No rabbits or deer in my neighborhood. I'm too lazy to make tea.

I would never put river rocks on top of Clematis. They can block rain/water which is never a good thing for Clematis. Clematis thrive on compost as well. You do not need to shade their roots with rocks or anything else. Organic mulch and kept well watered is what they need. Not shade.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:29AM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

mnwsgal, I also just put pellets around my plants, and used to worry about rabbits. What I do is really water the pellets in until they turn to mush, and I haven't had a problem. I also alternate between rosetone, and alfalfa, and I did use fish emulsion once.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:29AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Is not high nitrogen. Would be fine.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 8:30AM
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nanaclaire(5b)

I planted a hydrangea close to where my new clematis is going ... they won't be in the same 4x4 bed but the clematis will be in the next bed. I used organic soil acidifier for the hydrangea as recommended by the nursery and was wondering if that can be used on the clematis?

If not, I'll get some bone meal if I don't already have some. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 4:44PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Clematis don't require acid soil but it won't hurt it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 8:24PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

I'd like to share an easy way to use the alfalfa pellets. Although we are having a terrible drought right now in normal times we will have a prediction of heavy rain, perhaps even a prediction of 3 days of rain. I try to wait until the sky is dark & rain looks certain, then sprinkle the alfalfa pellets in some of the flower beds. The rain waters them in & makes them into mush (probably helpful for rabbit problems as opheliathornvt says above, tho' I don't have rabbits). When the beds try out a bit I take a hand tool, like my long metal sedge puller, & work in the mushy alfalfa. I work around & do different flower beds with different heavy rains. Easy, done!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 11:47PM
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