clems with good foliage?

kitykat(6a)August 3, 2012

Granted, much of the country is experiencing major drought and high temps, but every year several/many of my Clems get ragged looking by mid summer. From the ground up to 3 or 4 ft, there are bare legs and brown leaves. Many times, several stems brown out and die completely, only to send out new growth through the tatters. All this with regular watering!

Looking good right now are:

Betty Corning

Duchess of Albany


Prince Charles

Polish Spirit

integrifolia 'alba'

Artic Queen

Most others are an embarrassment. The spring show is no longer making up for these ugly summer characteristics. Would like to hear from others. What looks good from year to year in high summer heat???

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What you describe is pretty much SOP for any type 2 clem, regardless of heat or drought. Nothing wrong with a hard prune after bloom time. You may miss a small, later rebloom with this method but be rewarded with some tidy looking regrowth, enough to encourage a good primary bloom period the next season.

FWIW, it is awfully hard to permanently damage a clematis by pruning, no matter how hard or what time of year :-) If it looks ugly, whack it back!!

My favorite for good foliage is C. fasiculiflora - not only is it evergreen, but the foliage has silvery veining and marbling and takes on russet tones in cold weather. And it blooms in winter!! But not going to be hardy for most of the country :-(

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:39PM
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I'm always curious about those w/nice foilage. Some (like Julia Correvon ) look ratty--to me--even when in bloom.
Most of mine are still babies but I have a larger Nelly Moser, Kaiko, and Bourbon that have beautiful foilage right now. Plus they are sending off sporadic blooms. I have 2 Montanas that have such nice foilage that i dont mind they only bloom once (Mayleen and Grandiflora). They are in protected spots though bc of my zone.
My Mikelite looks wonderful and even though it's a baby plant it's blooming its head off. Nice deep dark color that's not fading in a hot, full sun, dry spot.
The rest of my 60+ clematis collection the verdict is still out on bc I only bought them this past year.
By the way, do you cut type 2's back after their first 'show'? I did on advice I read here and they grow back quickly minus the ratty foilage.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I agree with gardengal on SOP for type 2's. Your list contains mostly Viticellas, to which I would add Warsaw Nike & Venosa Violacea, treating them more like type 2's, with very heavy after bloom pruning in the spring. Also I like Justa, which unlike the others is much smaller. Piilu, a type 2, is small & tends to retain foliage all summer for me. Cartmanii Joe is short and evergreen, with interesting foliage and no brown out.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 4:20PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

My Piilu looked awful and is right in front of the living room picture window so I whacked it to six inches tall. It is all sprouted out nicely now.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:40PM
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