how to care for a plant I bought in July

Lynn NevinsSeptember 29, 2012

Hi all.

So I bought my first clematis (Gardini Moonfleet) in July. Potted it up into a pot about 10-12' and stood it at the edge of my balcony against a trellis. It did grow a bit and work its way up the trellis and then it just stopped. I'd say since at least mid-Augst the plant appears to be totally stagnant...no new growth...which always concerns me.

Then a few weeks ago a visitor accidentally tipped over the pot and so in the process the tipped plant pulled a bit on the branches that were attached to the trellis.

In any case, I am wondering...at this time of year....can/should I prune back to encourage new/bushy growth...or should I just wait until the Spring, prune it, and see what happens?

BTW it seems my plant is considered a Group 3 clematis...is that right?

I found these pruning directions online. Can someone please tell me if this sounds right, and also, whether you think I should prune NOW as well, or just wait until the Spring?

Thanks all!!

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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I wait until we have had a hard freeze and then cut my type 3's like Moonfleet back to one or two bud nodes per stem any time I have time before spring. I wouldn't prune yet as it is likely to encourage new growth now, not what you want this late in the season. Maybe someone who grows in pots in a zone similar to yours will add to this and tell you more specifically during the winter when to prune.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Lynn Nevins

Thanks. So then do I understand correctly that by pruning after a hard freeze (which I guess means frost temps), that I won't run the risk of new growth...that new growth can only occur when temps are above frost?

And also....pruning during freezing temps...I guess that doesn't expose the freshly cut stem to any danger? I know that for many/most other plants, I thought I heard you should never prune in such cold temps...I guess because the fresh cut exposes the plant to the cold in a different way, which could kill the plant?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 11:59AM
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gardengal48

Hard freeze is not the same as a frost - hard freeze indicates several days below freezing. In my climate, I wait until after the first of the year before considering any pruning.......although we don't always get very cold weather, I am assured that the plants are fully dormant by that time and so unlikely to generate any growth than can be damaged by cold.

As I indicated in your other post, young/new clematis should be pruned hard their first couple of seasons regardless of pruning group. Moonfleet IS a group three so annual hard pruning - as nhbabs describes - is recommended on an ongoing basis.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:44PM
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