Clematis armandii?

razorback33(z7)January 19, 2009

Does anyone in Zone 7 (north GA) grow this evergreen, late winter blooming species?

I received one as a gift, with a caution to keep it indoors until spring, because it has been grown in a greenhouse.

A google search provided a link to Floridata, that lists hardiness as Zone 8 (10°F). That would be marginal in my area, unless planted in a microclimate area of the garden, which may not satisfy some other requirement, such as light exposure.

Would appreciate hearing about your experience with this species.

TIA

Rb

Here is a link that might be useful: Floridata - Clematis armandii

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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Not a problem here. Stays evergreen, and mine survived the latest freezes and it's out in the open!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 6:15PM
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razorback33(z7)

After reading georgia rose's post about the Southern Gardening Symposium, I find that this is one of of the 2009 GA Gold Medal plants! Guess that's a sort of a "stamp of approval". eh.
Rb

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 4:56PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Well, I was reading "Gardening 'Round Atlanta" and in it there is a report of a lost Armandii in a very late freeze. So I am thinking...if the ground is wet like it is now, and freezes it should be fine. Perhaps in a dry, very cold or prolonged freeze it would be a problem. Some plants just can not tolerate cold dry feet just like some can't take the cold wet.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:45PM
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razorback33(z7)

You're correct about roots requiring moisture during extremely cold temperatures. The moisture protects the roots in two ways, as it freezes, it expels the contained heat calories, which can raise the surrounding temperature several degrees. Once the moisture freezes at a temperature of 32°F (0°C), the temperature of the ice remains there, shielding the roots from lower temperatures. Snow cover works in the same way, for our northern friends!
Late spring freezes often affects the moisture in the plants stems, which is being pumped up by the roots, along with nutrients, to form foliage and flowers. This mixture is usually referred to as "sap", and as we all know, is drawn from some species of Maple trees to make syrup.
Severe cold can freeze and expand the sap, causing the stem to rupture. Once the stream of sap is interrupted, the stem will eventually die. Happened to several of my Hydrangeas, in my artic microclimate, during the Easter debacle two years past.
Be sure to check your plants for moisture during the winter.
Since the herbaceous and deciduous ones have no foliage to signal you, if you are experiencing little rainfall, you will need to check the soil around the roots. I do so by inserting a forefinger in the root zone soil. If it's dry to a depth of 3-4 inches, watering is advised.
Rb

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 12:58AM
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nippersdad

I just checked on ours and it looks just fine after several nights the last week of single digit temps. It is in an area subject to EXTREME drought conditions, between a red maple and a red cedar, so it has not taken off, but it appears to be fairly happy for all of that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 2:49PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Oh, wow! I was very interested in this thread but really love your input, Nippersdad. Plants that can be fairly happy in dry conditions are wonderful to identify. I'm off to shop for armandii. I've done that before and happen to know there are enough selections to constitute a small candy store. :) Thanks, and thanks Razorback for asking.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 4:08PM
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nippersdad

Hi Rosie:

We live on the top of a hill with soil that was "swept" for forty or fifty years. As a result, we have only subsoils with which to work. I like to think that if it can survive here, it will thrive elsewhere (though I don't know if that is actually true). My entire yard is an experiment in extreme drought conditions because there is no soil to hold water even when it rains (LOL!).

I planted several different vines along a fence just to see what would grow well in our conditions and Clematis Armandii is holding on pretty well....you should have little difficulty with it. What is going gangbusters is the passion vine planted for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars! If you have some poor, dry soil that you want to utilize, this might be a really good choice.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 4:58PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Sounds kind of like my hill. The people who lived here in a mobile home before we bought it had teenagers, and I seem to be gardening on a large former parking lot. It does come with its own Passionflower vine, though. How is it doing in controlled conditions? I love the ones that are among the first responders after land clearing, but gangbusters about says it and I've hesitated so far to move it into areas I hope to bring under some kind of control.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 3:41PM
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nippersdad

Hi Rosie:

I raised mine from seed and it has only been in for a couple of years, so I couldn't really say whether or not it will be controllable yet. I have been aiming for survival so far, what with all of the droughts, and it really hadn't occurred to me that it might become a problem. Famous last words? Thanks for the heads up; I'll keep an eye on it.

Having planted for droughts, there are a lot of things I probably haven't been thinking about. This winter I have already lost half of my five year old Daphnes to the rain! Gardening is nothing if not unpredictable.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 12:06AM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Boy, is that true and reminds me of my mysterious portal to the underworld. I wanted to keep downspout water in a certain area and expected most of it to run off the strategically positioned large flat rocks into that area. After a beautiful young gardenia died, I sat out there during a 2" downpour and found most of the water was disappearing into the ground directly below the rocks and not running off at all. I filled that area myself (wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow), and HOW this happens I don't understand. Meanwhile, the nearby shrubs I would at least expect to benefit from my miscalculation were dying from drought.

Regarding the passion flowers, it may just be a tribute to their seeds. I hope so. I can pull up seedlings. It's underground runners that give me nightmares. Like trumpet vine, which I'd tuck in everywhere if only...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:07PM
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esh_ga

most of the water was disappearing into the ground directly below the rocks and not running off at all. I filled that area myself (wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow), and HOW this happens I don't understand

I would think that someone had buried some organic material there (e.g., tree trunks) and they had finally decomposed, leaving only the space that they had occupied.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:09PM
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nippersdad

I had to laugh at that "mysterious portal to the underworld" and the "strategically placed rocks"! I don't know how many of my grand plans went wrong once the hard Georgia clay of reality set in (my terrace got a LOT smaller, for one).

Esh has a point that might be worth checking on, though. It is simply unbelievable what folks had no problem burying even just a few years ago. I had a developer bury a house (with contents), two acres of trees, trash and brush in a sixty ft. X 25 ft. X twenty ft. deep pit a hundred feet from my well ten years ago; broke about 170 laws in the process. The county and state refused to do anything about it....one of the guys at Ga EPA actually argued with me about what thou shalt not in the code meant! He now runs the department.....

If you have a well it might be an idea to do a little trenching.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 11:58PM
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nippersdad

Oh! Rosie, I forgot to mention. You are right about that trumpet vine. I have had occasion to see it in action and it does tend to be invasive if not sited properly.

I have this wonderful neighbor who has done me the favor of allowing her bamboo to run wild on her side of the fence...I was so delighted that I then planted orange and yellow trumpet vine all along our front adjoining property line for her delectation...IT IS GORGEOUS! Huge running vines that one can actually see racing across her meticulously cut front lawn, growing out of our dark hedge looking for the light.

When the bamboo reaches our septic tank lines, I am considering rewarding her with wisteria. Let it not be said that I do not fully appreciate and properly remunerate good neighbors! While that trumpet creeper might have been a mistake in hindsight, I am sure the same cannot be said of wisteria....right?. ;)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 12:32AM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

From personal experience I feel sure your neighbor would love wisteria too. So beautiful and so easy to grow. Mine could reach across the 7-foot gap between our house and garage within two weeks, greeting us after each summer vacation with a lovely dappled-shade passage. More than once friends were surprised when the vine shot seeds at them, which was fun to see, but I really appreciated it for the way it cobra-squeeze destroyed the old wood arbor my husband didn't want to work on, giving me an excuse to replace the posts with metal 4x4s with decorative heavy metal brackets.

I'm not sure anything can match the gift of bamboo, though. I once appraised a house in an old neighborhood belonging to an elderly lady. After her husband died and son moved to New York, it got so lonely it moved into her garage looking for her, then swept across their rear yard to visit four adjoining elderly neighbors and their yards, before finally finding her and moving into her rear porch and laundry room. About that time her son came to visit her, instead of vice versa, and I got called when he decided she needed to leave before it tried to join her at the kitchen table. BTW, the home, garage, and retaining walls between all these hillside properties were total losses, with all requiring extensive bulldozer work, but for economic reasons only the property for sale and one other actually got the 40'-tall bamboo and its underground structure bulldozed out...

Buried a house and contents (?!) definitely tops anything here, although I guess the GaEPA problem-solver (of interfering with business as usual apparently) official is mine too. In my case I do happen to know there's not even a shed or old bed buried in this area, just our usual light clay piled up behind a short retaining wall.

A bit of a wander from Clematis armandii. On shopping I found that Chalk Hill Nursery has closed. So sad. That was the first place I automatically looked. I also want to try a solid-cream (no speckles) Clematis cirrhosa for winter flowers, but I'm going to have to find them at some other nursery, after it opens in spring apparently.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 12:22PM
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razorback33(z7)

Don't waste your time calling the GA EPD about violations, they will become irritated that you bothered them and refer you to your county enforcement office, which is populated by seat-burners. NOTHING will be done!
Been there twice, nothing was ever done, even though the violations were severe enough that the perps should be serving time in Federal prison.
Rb

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 2:39PM
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nippersdad

Rosie, that bamboo story was great! I can easily see it happening too. I get the warm fuzzies every time I think about my neighbor's generosity. I was thinking especially good thoughts about her the other day when I had to dig up the septic tank and hand pull the roots out of the intake pipe. That was when I thought up the wisteria idea. Ahhhh, memories; Bloody Mary's are good and can be used to sterilize things as well (good and good for you! A two fer!).

I am so very glad that you don't have a burial problem on your site. I know: hard to believe. I eventually got it taken care of (though I lost my well for potable use), but only after sending letters to Roy Barnes and spending fourteen grand in the courts. Sixty or seventy dump truck/tip loads removed; The developer called me a commie. I don't think that even that would work anymore. The irony is that Georgia has the sole legal right of enforcement (no citizen's legal standing provision) which leaves the Feds and individuals powerless until someone comes down with cancer and can prove the source. At which point the problem of containment and cleanup is the new property owners'. I spoke with a Fed EPD officer from Gwinnett at the time with the same problem...he moved rather than fight. The better part of valor? I know that this is all very off topic, but it is always good to get this type of info out to those who might find themselves in similar straits, however much of a bore it might seem. :)

RB, you are absolutely right! GA EPD and County Codes Enforcement are useless by design. I often think that mostly the wrong people are in prison these days.

I noticed that you were talking about mahonia on another thread in a way which made me wonder if you are in the market. I have some (six or eight) which the birds planted under a Washington Hawthorn which is undergoing Oak Decline. They may not survive the direct sunlight they will be exposed to this summer. Do you want them? I haven't a suitable area prepared yet and would hate to see them go to waste.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 12:14AM
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razorback33(z7)

nippersdad...
Thanks, but I will pass on Mahonia. One of my least favorite members of the Barberry Family.
I grow 2 species, M. bealei (Alien-Introduced) and M. aquifolium (NW Native-Introduced into GA).
M. bealei will thrive in just about any location, full shade to full sun. I planted one in a strategic, full sun location several years ago to prevent a utility meter reader from using one of my raised flower beds as a shortcut. That worked extremely well! The darn shrub is now HUGE! Wouldn't worry about too much sun for those.
I also have to remove dozens of seedlings every year, scattered all over the property, thanks to our feathered friends. So does everyone else I know that grows them!
Rb

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 2:50AM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

I think he was likely asking me, and I have to pass too, but regretfully because I do really appreciate them for their fragrant winter flowers (my one plant is blooming right now). Thanks for the offer. When I planted it, I had the idea my garden was too cold for it to spread, but soon after a neighbor offered me one he "found" in his garden. After that I decided to keep it, for now anyway, but cut off the flowers when they finish blooming. A quick and easy job as there's little required in the garden this time of year.

Thanks also for the information, Nippersdad. You may be a Commie (funny!) if you... Object to buyers beware as the basic environmental safeguard? Object to hiring and paying expensive public employees to specifically not do their jobs?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:13AM
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esh_ga

Yeah, don't worry about saving those Mahonia. They certainly are Mahonia bealei, which has been gaining status as an invasive plant. I just removed 5 of them from my neighbor's stream side. I left 3 of them for now, but de-bloomed them all. I have pulled them out of my property as well.

Next to my neighbor's volunteer mahonias were some other "goodies" - I took out 3 elaeagnus (silver on the back side of the leaves), 1 fruiting nandina and a bunch of babies and the usual chinese privet. I pulled a couple of big pieces of japanese honeysuckle but much more was left behind. A variable cornucopia of invasives. I am just grateful we don't have English ivy and wisteria around here.

And gad, what an awful story about dealing with buried trash! Thank goodness you prevailed.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:57AM
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johngatch

nippersdad
You mentioned growing your clematis Armandii from seed.
Please share with us a source for seeds.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 5:03PM
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nippersdad

Hi John:

I'm sorry, I was unclear. I grew the passion vine from seed. I think that the Clematis Armandii would be far easier to propagate from cuttings. Unlike the Montana, I don't recall a lot of seed from the Armandii (any seed, really). I'll keep an eye out...

Esh, Rosie and Razorback: I had no idea that mahonia was so prolific! I just remember the box parterres filled with Mahonia and liked them as a child. I had little idea that I was one of the few who did. Most of my gardening tastes were formed in gardens laid out in the twenties. Anything I come up with on my own would, no doubt, be considered a horror show for those more up to date in garden fashion than I.

My efforts to date have largely been more to get rid of grass and introduce shade than any attempt at habitat restoration....though I hope to get there once I have the bones of the garden complete.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 5:00PM
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