Follow-up to 'Just One Bloom' post

esther_bJuly 3, 2011

And that's all there ever was--just the one bloom. I keep the soil moist, it hasn't been super hot here yet, there is ample fertilizer (Osmocoat), there is mulching to keep the roots cool and yet--NO FLOWERS! The growing tip of the vine was accidently clipped off by the not-so-skilled landscape people here at my co-op complex, but the plant should have sent up alternative shoots. Why not?


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The only time I see new shoots is in spring after the soil warms and the plant starts growing. Never after a mid-season prune.

When did you plant your clematis?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 4:02PM
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This Nelly Moser was planted 2 years ago.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:49PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It takes time for a hard pruned Clematis, especially a tiny baby one to send up more vines from the crown. Can be months. Especially if it is a type II like Nelly.

Osmocote wouldn't be my choice of fertilizer for Clematis. I use it on potted annuals only.

I'd use some alfalfa meal or pellets on it for sure.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:54PM
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esther, some of the groups 2s will never do well in the north. Did your Nelly Moser die back to the ground in winter? Nelly is a spring bloomer and has a lesser bloom in September. Our season isn't long enough for the new growth to ripen.

It's so frustrating that (clueless) growers sell Nellie Moser to northern nurseries. I see it around here so often it makes me want to scream.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Janetpetiole -- Yes, my Nelly died back to the ground in winter, nary a clue anything was there until the spring. Then it grew to about 6' tall and had the one flower. The growing tip was accidently lopped off, but it did not develop any lateral shoots, which I found very surprising. So it's just sitting there, not growing, not flowering, ticking me off. BTW, it was the best plant nursery around here which told me to use Osmocoat fertilizer. I had also applied organic fertilizer to the uncultivated soil.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 11:01PM
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It has been my experience that the staff at nurseries and garden centers, especially those that specialize in landscaping, don't know much about clematis.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 4:39PM
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If your Nelly has been in the ground 2 years, give it at least one to three more years before you give up on her. Clematis are slow to get established, and spend time growing roots before top growth gets too large. Also, Osmocote has 15-9-12 formulation (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or NPK %s). For best bloom, you want the first number to be the lowest, not the highest since excess nitrogen encourages green growth, not fruit or flowers.

I don't have Nelly, but I do have some type 2's that have been really successful for me, even after dying back to the ground or close to it in the winter. Daniel Deronda has been blooming since June first without a break after starting the season at about a foot tall. Guernsey Cream dies to the ground every winter, but blooms quite prolifically though for a relatively short period (2-3 weeks) the end of May to mid-June. HF Young is just slowing down , but has been blooming since June 20 and also started the year from below ground. Guernsey Cream has been in the ground since 2006, but started as a tiny plant. The other two are 4 years old.

So I don't know how Nelly will do for you longer term, but there are some relatively easy to grow group 2's for northern growers.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:07PM
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Gee, I was told by the owner of the best plant nursery in these parts (they have gorgeous stuff!) to use the Osmocoat. Next year I will use something else with a lower first number. The Nelly continues to just sit there. It's not growing, not flowering, just treading water. Should I prune it or just let it be until fall's frost? I really like the BIG clematis flowers in bright, not pale colors. Don't have much spare room to plant any more clematis in my pocket apartment-yard garden, I've planted virtually every inch AND the area under the tree in the front yard (it's now officially Hosta City, LOL).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:50AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Osmocote works great for potted plants in a nursery or annuals in hanging baskets or pots but not so much for Clematis. Use an organic rose or tomato fertilizer or compost or bagged rotted manure.

Type II Large Flowered Hybrids typically take years to get going. What your experiencing is rather normal.

I'd leave her alone.

You do know that her flowers are rather pale right? Not bright?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:27PM
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Agree, Nelly is very pale and fades badly to almost white. So if you want something bright, replace her with another variety.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Ament(5a SD)

I was wondering, do any of you find it easy to get seeds from the clematis you guys all are growing? I am in SD, my neighbor ripped her seed pods off her clematis before I even got the chance to ask her to let them ripen.

~Bright Blessings

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Your question is completely OT here, so it would be a good idea to start a new thread.

Personally, I've never been interested in collecting Clematis seeds. It would take many years to get a blooming plant. IMO, growing Clematis from a seed could only be interesting if you hybridize. If you are on a budget, there are many ways to get a cheap baby Clematis.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:48PM
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