Dumb question about new/old wood

adiro(5b/6a Canada)July 14, 2008

I am a newbie. Sorry to ask something so dumb, but I don't understand clematis.

I just discovered I have an Elsa Spath, which is group 2. Group 2 bloom on old wood and should be pruned lightly. What exactly is " old wood" ?

The flowers on my plant are (at the very tip of the growing vines, which makes it be "the newest" wood.... I really don't understand....

I also have what's supposed to be a Sunset clematis, also group two, blooming on old wood. She didn't do an inch of growth for two month in the ground, and now it started suddenly to grow two new vines, and each has a tiny bloom at the very end of the tip.

so can somebody explain me please how is the thing with " blooming on old wood", when my clems ( type 2) seem to want to bloom on the new wood? What (age) makes the wood old?

thank you!

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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

No question is considered dumb hon..that is the only way we can learn is to ask questions. When you read the term "Old Wood"..it means the vines of that clematis that were produced from Previous years...such as your Pruning group 2's .."New Wood" means the vines that are grown during a growing season..those are your Pruning group 3's and those must be hard pruned because you want the new vines to grow for they produce the blooms...if you didn't hard prune...you'd only have blooms wayyyy up high where the new vines will start growing from the old ones..Hope this helps...ps..One+ years old is what constitutes old wood

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 6:39PM
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adiro(5b/6a Canada)

Thank you for your answer! Sorry, my English is sometimes a little tangled, as it is not my first language.

I do appreciate your definition, however my plant defies this rule. It is Elsa Spath, group 2, first year in the ground, and it made blooms on newest wood, some twigs that didn't exist a month ago. And also the Sunset clem, first year in the ground as well, it just started growing new twigs and it is forming blooms at the very end of the new twigs ( vines) as well. Hence my confusion, it seems that a week or a month old "wood" is old enough to give birth to blooms..... I'm still confused....

Btw, this clems were purchased this spring, and they were in pruned shape ( 1 gallon, about 12 inch tall plants with the tips obviously cut off).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 8:48PM
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tracyvine(6 NE Ohio)

Adiro, Jeanne is correct. The reason your Two Type 2 Clems are blooming on New (green) wood is because they are young recently pruned clematis. They were just bought and put in the ground this spring so will be putting out new vines to climb as well as working on root growth.

There will be some blooms that do happen on the new wood this year. Next spring they will bloom first on old wood (the previous years growth) and then later in the season will start to put out some new growth atop the older stems and then probably produce a second less vigorous set of blooms.

Each year you have them they will produce more and better blooms. I have several Type 2's and have been rewarded with some of the best blooms after their third year in the ground. I hope I have helped clear things up a bit.

I have asked many questions here and Jeanne and many of the others have helped me through all of them. You couldn't come to a better spot with any question you might have about the clems.

All my best,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 9:17PM
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adiro(5b/6a Canada)

Thank you! yes, I discovered this forum a little while ago, and I've been educating myself reading old posts as much as time permits.
Meanwhile, I also managed to get addicted, and while I started with 2 clems, purchased out of curiosity ( I liked the colorful labels) now I managed to get 8 !!!!!
and I baby them dearly everyday, and I try to make them happy!

my new backyard is still fairly naked, but I can imagine the splendor when the clems grow and cover up the fences! I can't wait for these little ones to open at least one bloom, so that I can see how they look like in reality!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:41PM
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tracyvine(6 NE Ohio)

Adiro, you have me chuckling at how bitten you've become by the clematis bug and how quickly. Good for you! I know exactly what you mean. I just picked up 14 new ones this year. I have gone overboard to say the least! One of the best parts of having them is watching them mature. They are like children in how they change as they mature from one year to the next.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 7:31PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

Ahhh...I remember my early days when that wonderful Clematis bug bit me and the fever turned into an obsession..I can only warn you it gets worse as the pleasure of seeing these gems flourish in your gardens..but to me it's a wonderful addiction that only makes our world a more beautiful place to live...Tracy is correct..some pruning group 2's will bloom on both old and new vines...those are some of my favs..for they don't just have that delicious flush of blooms in Spring and Late Summer/early Fall but spit out blooms off and on all season...Jeanne

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Jeanne, which one's are those? How can you tell which ones will bloom like that?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 2:14PM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

The only way to find out is to actually have grown them and see and I also wonder if it's because I live in a longer growing area? or if this is typical of these varieties..Let me see...Clematis "Ramona","Dr. Ruppel","Proteus" and "Snow Queen" just to name a few will bloom off and on all season for me here in the Deep South with a heavy flush in Spring and Late Summer/early Fall ...Jeanne

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 5:10PM
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adiro(5b/6a Canada)

I"m so glad I asked! Because I got so many beautiful answers, and I am happy to read the good news! Thank you! Yes!
So Elsa Spath is one of those that will bloom in between flashes too! Btw, my second Montana Alba turned out being a second Elsa Spath, she's blooming now too! Well, good thing I put them symetrically in the yard, now that I have two of the same color, at least it makes some sense...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 12:13AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

The Montanas can get humongous...so you might be glad you have Elsa instead depending on the space provided..well done..Jeanne

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 7:36AM
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Thanks Jeanne, I thought you had a special secret. All but one mentioned is from the ELF group. Coincidence?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:49AM
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jeanne_texas(Z 8B TX)

So you think maybe me being in an area with longer growing season is why I experience this?..I usually say there are no coincidences..LOL...Jeanne

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:44AM
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