Zone 5b, too late to plant clems from Chalk Hill?

ckriegerOctober 10, 2008

I was wondering if anyone in zone 5b who was a more experienced gardener than myself would plant clematis this weekend? I just received 5 plants from chalk hill and found some infomation on the internet that said that the first fall frost date for this area is usually around Oct 18. It has been getting down to the upper 40's in my area. I have never really paid much attention to the fall frost date as I have never planted in the fall. I always do mine in the spring even though I know fall is a good time to plant. It seems as if there isn't much of a plant selection available here in the fall.


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am in same boat- just got my shipment as well. I will be planting some of mine as few have sufficient root system but not all. Overall it was not a bargain deal, I feel I bought lots of very expensive soil...
have planted clems in the fall before, although not this late.good success.
Our last fall was very warm one, we will see if I am making right decision.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 6:58PM
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No, it's not at all too late. First frost date is only an indicator of when tender plants and annuals are no longer suitable for planting. As long as your clematis selections are fully hardy for your area (and most hybrids are), there is no reason not to plant them now, as is also the case for most perennials, shrubs and trees. Fall is generally a very beneficial time for plant establishment, as soils remain warm, rains are plentiful and roots are in a period of active and strong growth. Just make sure the plants are well watered and adequately mulched.

The exception would be those vines which are still very small and without well-developed root systems. They would benefit from being potted up for at least season. You can sink these pots into the garden and mulch over for winter or store in a more protected location until they've grown on and it's a more suitable time to plant.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:44PM
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I am in your zone and I too received my shipment from Chalk Hill this past Friday. Gardengal is absolutely correct in that Autumn is an ideal time for planting. Because of the cool rainy weather we get in Autumn, perennials concentrate primarily on root growth at this time of year and not on putting out leaves. This is true for not just clems, but shrubs and trees and a multitude of other perennials - actually now is the time to be hitting the garden centers.

I potted up my clems on Saturday in 1 gallon pots and they are buried in the back yard. I do have stakes where each pot is buried so I can easily tell in the Spring what I have put where. I also have my plant markers in these pots so I know which clem is which. Just make sure they are not allowed to dry out before the ground freezes hard. I did this last Fall with about a dozen clems I was thrilled in the Spring to see that not only had my clems survived, but thrived!

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 8:49AM
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frank_10b(10B subtropical)

Also, in your zone, just got some discount plants from Lowes, but worried now that they might not do so well. Do I have to do anything to ensure that they survive the winter? I was not planning on being here in the winter so what should I do to make sure that the plants do ok in the winter and early spring here in W. Mass?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Well, I just got a message that UPS had been contacted by them. My delivery date is 7 days off. So much for the obscenely expensive delivery.

I will be amazed if they are worth anything like the cost. I guess you don't always get ehat you pay for.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:02PM
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Thank you to all who responded. I had ordered 6 from Chalk Hill and only 5 were available. 3 had decent root structures but 2 did not. One still had the cell pack look to the roots. It seems as if it went right from a cell pack to the longer pot. So, I will try to pot these 2 up and grow them out next year. I am going to try to keep them in our garage over winter. Good luck to all who are over wintering less than spectacular plants.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 11:12AM
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My plants that the little cell pack paper around the roots.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 5:49PM
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