clematis re-trellis

tschnab1982August 25, 2013

We have a four year old clematis that seems very happy where she is and she has out-grown the 4 foot high trellis. How do we get the clematis off the current trellis and get it going on a taller trellis?

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Wait until pruning time - late winter/early spring - and cut the vine back hard. You can replace the trellis at this time and the old vines will pull off the too small trellis easily so it can be repurposed.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:17PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Agreed, Gg48 gave good advice. Do you know the pruning type of your clematis? Some do best pruned hard every year. Some are pruned early spring to new growth on the old stems. Some are rarely pruned.

Also if you know the variety you can plan to have a trellis that will hold the entire upward growth or use a shorter trellis and plan for the upper growth to drape over. Some clematis grow twenty feet or more and some only a few feet. Many grow in the 8-10 feet range. I find it difficult to buy a pre-made trellis in my area that is much taller than six feet. And the trellises seem to be getting more narrow as well.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 1:32AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I have the same question about my Dr. Ruppel..which is in prunning group#2..The trellis is has been on has to be replaced. The man that usually does my prunning and Spring and Fall maintainence didn't get to the prunning until sometimes in April this year and Dr. Ruppel didn't bloom like it normally does. There is a lot of dead wood in back of clematis, where there was so blooms. Why can't I cut it back now and how far do i cut it back? Wouldn't it make sense to cut it back to about 6-12 in. like you do a group#3, feed it and hope it returns in the Spring? The existing trellis is wood and falling apart and I want to buy a wrought iron one to replace it.

Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:16AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I would wait until after a killing frost so that the plant doesn't go into winter with lots of new growth. In my zone that will be in the next few weeks. At that time you can cut it back to the 6-12inches. It will come back in the spring. I grow many P:2 clematis and most die back to near the ground and still come back and bloom in the spring and have some rebloom in the summer/fall.

One year I had to cut some of my P:2 clematis back before a killing frost and even with new growth they survived the winter and bloomed the next spring.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:35AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Thanks for the prunning information. Guess I better go down to Home Depot this week and buy the new trellis, while they still have the gardening stuff out. Will soon be filling up the space with holiday trees and decorations,etc.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:42PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Our big box stores have the gardening items cleared away and christmas items out already. Too early IMO.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 5:10AM
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dwyerkg(6 massachusetts)

Off topic question, would Clematis do good next to the ocean? I live just south of boston and worry that if I plant Clematis they may not survive the winter wind that comes off the ocean, thanks

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:08PM
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Dwyerkg, I know there is one woman on the New England forum who lives right on the water on Cape Cod and has sweet autumn clematis, so I know that at least that type is OK with wind and salt air. If you don't get an answer here, you could ask to see if anyone else on the NEF grows clematis near the ocean.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:47PM
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plantloverkat north Houston(zone 9a)

Dwyerkg, you could contact Cindy at Hummingbird Farm in Maine. I believe that she is in USDA zone 5a, so she should be able to help with this question.

Cindy offers quite a few of the Kivistik clematis, which she says are hardy to zone 3, and she told me in an e-mail earlier this year that she hopes to offer more from this collection next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kivistik clematis at Hummingbird Farm

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:59AM
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As far as hardiness to cold and wind, if you plant type 3 pruning (whack off everything down to a couple pairs of buds per stem once it gets cold every year) there won't be problem since there isn't enough plant to catch the wind. If I can grow them here on the border between zones 4 and 5 in a windy river valley, they won't have a problem for you, Dwyerkg. Hummingbird Farm is inland not on the coast, so I don't know if she has customers along the Maine coast, but I have been quite pleased with the clematis I have gotten from them.

The only concern I would have about growing clematis near the ocean would be salt spray. You would also need to be sure that your trellis is quite firmly planted so that it doesn't blow over in high winds.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:14PM
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