3 year old President, need help!

baxbAugust 19, 2011

My president Clematis is now in its 3rd year. Earlier this spring the top half wilted and it turned black. I cut it down to about 3ft high where it was green. Its now 7 ft tall supported on bamboo canes. What type is the president? When does it bloom- early or late? Does it not flower for first few years? My garden is north east facing and this summer has been awful, not much sun and its been raining every day for nearly 3weeks. Also, the plant is growing from only 2 stems from the soil level. Is this enough and how can i make it send out more stems from the soil? I plan on training it to grow around a window, its NE facing so wil it be ok? I pinch it back often so there is plenty of stems growing outwards but it just seems to me that it needs to have maybe 5 or 6 main stems should be stronger plant?

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janetpetiole(4b)

The President is a spring bloomer, but will have a second bloom later in the season. It's one of the easiest and most reliable spring bloomers to grow. Stop pinching it back so the plant has a chance to set buds. It's sort of late in the season already to have any hope for a decent bloom period.

Next year in early spring, cut the vines down 6" - 12" above the soil. You should see new shoots.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:10AM
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baxb

I read somewhere not to prune a Clematis until after it has it first set of blooms which can take 3 or 4 years to flower. Thats why iv been pinching it back. Should i stil cut it down next spring even though it has not flowered yet? Wil the pruning not effect the flowering?
Also what does the different type numbers mean- like Ive heard of Clematis type 1 and type 2. How many types are there and what is President?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:33PM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

The President is a type 2 clematis. It blooms on old growth early in the spring and has some rebloom later in the season. I prune all of my clematis back to 6 - 12 inches from the ground each of the first two or three years they are in the ground. This encourages new vines from the ground. Many of your questions are answered in the Clematis forum FAQ's. Read through them and if you still have questions post them and someone will answer.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:16PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I read somewhere not to prune a Clematis until after it has it first set of blooms which can take 3 or 4 years to flower.

Hogwash. Completely not true.

ALL Clematis, regardless of pruning group should be hard pruned the first couple of years after they are planted. They should also be planted deeper than they were in the nursery pot. Hard pruning will encourage new shoots up from the buried crown.

Pinching all season never lets the vine set buds. You are pushing green growth not flowers. You should have stopped months ago.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:09PM
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baxb

I havent pinched back for ages and i was about to hard prune it to about 10inch and i noticed some big flower buds. I counted about 10. Is this normal for september or is it because i have delayed the flowering by pinching too much? When would be the exact right time to prune it back hard?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 1:53PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

It is normal for many clematis, including The President, to rebloom in the late summer/early fall.

I think that early spring before there is much regrowth is the time to hard prune in your zone. Some have said they prune their clematis when they prune their roses.

In my zone 4 I hard prune after the plants have died back in November as their is little chance that they will put out new growth before spring. When the prune 2 plants are older I will wait until early spring to see what growth has survived our harsh winter and prune lightly.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 11:09PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It is normal for many Type IIs to bloom again in fall.

You should hard prune it in February.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Ament(5a SD)

My Star of India just bloomed and so did the one that was labeled "Fireworks". Leaving both alone till later and then will prune them all down hard. :)

~Tina

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 2:00PM
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baxb

Maybe i was pinching too much- maybe Ive been feeding it wrong- maybe not much sun? Even though the blooms have only just come up couple weeks ago for the very first time, they are very tiny. The biggest ones were no wider than one inch. Some are only half inch wide! And colours varying pale violet to deeper purple. But Ive never seen any Clematis with such poor quality blooms.
Ive never pruned b4 but after all this brill advice i will hard prune it early spring. Maybe it will have bigger better blooms next year?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 1:56PM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

Clematis are sometimes mislabeled. I think yours might have been. I can't believe The President would have the blooms you describe under any conditions.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 3:36PM
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baxb

I have some photos of the plant so please follow link and give me your verdict.

Here is a link that might be useful: my clem president?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:44PM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

I'm not sure what that one is but it's not The President. Here's a picture of mine:

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:30PM
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baxb

I bought it from a major garden centre so i dont understand why its not a president. Im sure its a Clematis due to the vines and leaves (hopefully!) So any ideas what it is?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:00AM
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bob414(USDA 9, Sunset 15)

Unless the garden centre you bought it from propagated it the grower they bought it from labeled it. It happens no matter who you buy it from. If this is the bloom you are referring to:

Maybe someone can identify it. The colors resemble my Perle d'Azur.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:44PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

That is NOT 'The President' it is a Type III viticella which normally have much smaller flowers than the Type II Large Flowered Hybrids.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:41AM
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