I bought 3 clematis plants today for $3 each. Two Ramona and one Nelly Moser. :)
Since ground is not frozen, I can still plant it right?
Yes, some people will plant clematis until the ground freezes. Putting mulch down right away will prevent the soil from freezing as soon and give the roots more time to establish.
Others will dig a hole and place the potted clematis in the ground and cover with mulch/shredded leaves. In the spring the potted clems will be dug up and planted without the pot.
I have done both and all have grown well the next spring.
That's a great price if they are in gallon pots with good roots.
Looking at it, it looks dead. She told me it is alive. She scraped one of the stems and indeed, the inside was green. :D
I planted the Ramona by the post today and mulched it as well. I loosened the roots too. It was very long. The roots were so healthy.
I forgot to ask you folks. The nursery told me not to cut the 2 ft stems. She told me that if I cut it, I won't see any bloom next year. The tip of the stems have 2 or 3 leaves and are somewhat still green. What are your thoughts about cutting the stems? ...keep it and see what happens or cut it
Both are type II and bloom on old wood so you may miss the bloom. You will get a more vigorous plant with more stems from the ground if you cut it back the first two early springs that it is in the ground. In my climate I get a second bloom on all my type II's but I can't say about your area so you may not get the late bloom that I do and then you wouldn't see any blooms during the years that you cut them all the way back.
how tall should I wait in spring before I cut it down to the ground? It's fine with me if I cut it since I'll be growing annual vines for now. I can wait 2 years. Hopefully, it's going to be thick. :)
I would cut them back to just above the first leaf node. That way you get two vines coming from that stem and hopefully other vines coming up from the ground. And after the vines grow and have a couple of sets of leaves I would pinch the tips and that will stare two new vines from each. Pruning stimulates new growth so cut them back after last frost which will kill new growth. Someone from your zone will be along and suggest a time that works for them. When I cut them back in spring is when I fertilize them. I work rose fertilizer and alfalfa pellets into the soil around them. The alfalfa seems to stimulate the plant to put out new vines. Some prefer alfalfa tea but I just use the pellets.
I think I should post a pic in spring so I won't make an error when I cut them. Just 120 days to go before spring. WOOHOO!!! :)
I usually cut my clematis back the end of March or beginning of April. Waiting until after the last frost (approx May 10 here) is way too late. By then they're halfway up my fence! I have also cut back established clems in late fall (November) with no ill effects. I've always MEANT to pinch them back every spring, but somehow never get around to it - sounds like a very good idea. I also use alfalfa pellets/tea, fishmeal, manure and compost to fertilize. They seem to thrive on the same things as roses. Good luck!