What to do with Belle of Woking in zone 9b?

hannah82(9b)September 24, 2011

Hello clem lovers everywhere!

I have an approximately 2 year-old containerized Belle of Woking started from bare root bought at the home improvement store. After sulking during the first year, this spring it decided to put out a lot of growth and I was actually blessed with one bloom in May! The leaves fried a bit during our hot summer here in Southern California but despite that, it's holding up pretty well. Currently, with the cooler weather, it's undergoing a growth spurt and sprouting two stems near wherever the growing tips were previously burnt during our hotter days. Is it okay to continue to let the plant grow at this rate and when shall I consider pruning? I heard Belle of Woking blooms on old wood. Any special treatment I should give it during the coming fall and winter months? I'd really love to see this clematis covered in blooms one day!

Thank you all!

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

You do not need to worry about winter protection in your zone even in a container other than making sure your potting soil drains well.

Next spring at the same time you prune your roses prune it down to six to twelve inches tall. This will encourage a lot of stems to come up from the crown and then you can pinch them back as well to make them sprout two where you pinch one. The more stems, the more blooms. You might locate with afternoon shade in summer.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 2:48AM
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hannah82(9b)

Thanks buyorsell888, I just relocated her to a side of the property with eastern exposure. That should keep her on the cooler side during the afternoon. I checked up on all the growth tips recently and it looks like she will be putting on a mini fall show (knock-on-wood); I've counted six flower buds so far. I hope the blooms will be more 'double' this time...

BoW is currently in a dark 18" fiberglass pot and I've been wondering if I should consider potting her up in a larger, 'cooler', container (25"-31" cement planter maybe?). She's been in that pot for a little over a year now and the tips of the shoots droop/wilt even during 78 degree weather. They quickly rebound by the end of the day but I take that as a sign that the roots are either potbound or superheating from the dark planter. When is the best time to repot a clematis?

Thanks Again!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 2:17AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

A bigger pot is always better, I'd repot now.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 12:44PM
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hannah82(9b)

Hello again everyone,

Belle of Woking buds have opened and, thankfully, are the double-blooms I've always wanted. Couple days ago, when we suffered through two consecutive days of 100-103 degree heat, I feared I'd have to kiss the blooms good-bye...but lo-and-behold, other than some leaf scorch, she came through relatively unscathed.

I do think that the relocation (to an eastern exposure) has done her a great deal of good. The pot and root-zone is shaded during the hottest time of the day; though her 'head' is in the hot sun, I have noticed that she doesn't 'droop' as much during 78 degree + weather. I can't wait to see how she'll do in a larger, cooler container!

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:23PM
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