Got an amazing deal on clematis!

Lilyfinch z7 mid tnAugust 31, 2009

I have a chainlink fence that was in need of some beautiful clematis, and today i stopped at a nursery ive never been too, and got 5 for 2 dollars each!!!! After doing my happy dance (thankfully noone was around!) i selected :

Ernest Markham- a magenta


Multi Blue

Blue Angel

Comtesse de bouchard

the rest they had didnt look fabulous, and since im new at these i wasnt too confident in the very scraggly ones.

So any advice for me? Can i miracle grow these in a couple days after they get settled in the ground? How should i baby them? Im so excited! I still need to select a long blloming one for my arbor, ive been checking them out online, thank you for all your suggestions on my other thread!

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trowelgal(Kansas Zone 5)

You are so lucky! Nothing thrills more than a bargain for the garden. You made me think, there is a small nursery I pass on the way to work, I will need to stop there tomorrow to see if they have any Clems on sale.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:46PM
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tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)

Hi Lilyfinch,
Congrats on your bargain! I too love a bargain and there is *nothing* better than finding one for a plant, who needs love and then thrives once they get it. I love to baby them!

Anyway, about your questions...

I am not an expert however, I was in the same boat last year and looked on this forum and got some great help from people.

This is what I would tell you about planting clematis:

1. Dig the hole deep and wide. Probably about 2 feet each way. Save the soil you take out of the ground.

2. add compost (they sell bags of it at Lowes and Home Depot for about $3.00)If you can get the real thing even better - make sure it is aged. Otherwise it will burn your new baby clem.

3. I also add a heaping cup of Rose Tone (this is rose food, but any good fertilizer will do. Clematis are heavy feeders, like roses)

4. I add about a handful of bonemeal, which helps the root system develop and then 2 or 3 cups of peat moss, which helps with the drainage. (might help with other things too, but I know it helps the soil drain)

You'll want to add all of these to the soil from the hole you dug. Be sure to mix it up good. I use a pitch fork and twist it around good! I might add some water at this point to get the soil moist for mixing.

When you finally put the little clemmie in, plant it deep, so that at least 2 nodules are under the soil level. That way, they will spead out under the earth and you won't have one frail twig of growth, but rather multiple arms reaching up out of the earth.

Water it once a day, not too much, for about 5-7 days. After that, water with your own discretion but just keep an eye to make sure it doesn't dry out.

It will look dried out and sad over winter, but when Spring comes you'll have a happy little sprouts roaring to go! Now, here comes the hard part: when Spring comes and it really starts growning, should prune it to about 12" from the ground. It's so hard because you put all this time and love into it, but believe me it works!! By keeping it small, the energy will be spent on the root system and not on blooms and growth. Do this only once in the Spring.
Then, before you know it, you'll have a big, beautiful plant. The one last thing I'd caution you about is the dried leaves. Sometimes clematis look like they are dying and brown and dried. Even the stems look questionable as to delivering the nutrients... but I have cut into them to see and usually it's green and happy on the inside. So, if it doesn't look happy, be patient.

My mother reminds me often that gardening is a test of patience!

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 9:03PM
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tulipsmiles(6 South of Boston)

I just posted some photos of my Clem, Ville de Lyon.
Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Growth of Ville De Lyon from pot to 6'

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 9:31PM
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trowelgal(Kansas Zone 5)

I agree that Ville de Lyon is wonderful. It is a species clem so won't be bothered by wilt like the hybrids. It is long lived and beautiful to look at. Love my two.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 6:40PM
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