Clematis Questions

TeriA_NY(z5 NY)February 26, 2005

I have a trellis in my front yard with a honeysuckle growing on it. I planted it about 10 years ago and have just never really been happy with it. It is up to the top of the trellis and the top of it gets leaves and some flowers, but from the ground up to the top all you see is the bare vine. It has never flowered the way I thought it should either. I feed it, water it and it just doesn't seem to matter.

The area where this is planted gets sun until about 1:00 in the afternoon and then partial shade.

Anyway, I have been thinking about taking the honeysuckle out and putting in a Clematis (especially not after seeing Simon's beautiful pictures).

My questions are:

1. What are the light requirements?

2. How quickly will it grow. My trellis is about 6 foot high, will it take 5 years for it to get to the top?

3. Will the entire length of the vine be covered with leaves/flowers, or will just the top have leaves/flowers like the honeysuckle?

4. Does clematis require any special care?

I appreciate all of your help and any suggestions.

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TeriA_NY(z5 NY)

Sorry, I forgot to ask one more question.

Does anyone grow double clematis?

If so which do you prefer?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 8:23AM
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simon5136(z6.5 NY)

Hi TeriA:
You have enough light. If you plant the right varieties they will cover your trellis and flowers should cover the whole vine, not merely the top.
I started with three plants and have now "graduated" To about twenty...because I am fascinated with them.
I am in zone 6A and I wonder how all varities will do in your area.
I can give you exact planting instructions and care when your plants arrive. You will have blooms the first year (depending on when you put them in the ground) and full,beautiful vines in about the third year....but you must buy good plants! Stay away from "bargains" from the discount stores and nurseries. I get all mine over the internet...Chalk Hill and Joy Creek..I have the best luck when I put them in the ground in August so that their root system can develop over the winter. By the middle of March , I'll be cutting most of them back to 12 to 14 inches in order to get a bushier plant. Some varieties,of course, you don't cut back at all.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:01PM
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JustJoeyGirl(z5 NY)

Hi TeriA,

I am in z5, New Windsor. I have many clematis here, and I agree with simon, you'll be fine. I do have some of the double clematis too. I have the following and have had most of them for years: Nelly Moser, Jackmanni, Will Goodwin, Niobe, Henryi, Dutchess of Edinburgh, Pilau, an unknown velvely purple one that has huge flowers ( I lost the tag and forgot the name). I put in Arctic Queen and Florida Seiboldii last spring. I may have more, but at the moment I don't recall them. I am watching for the Florida Seiboldii, since that one is borderline in our zone. I mostly order from mail order.... The first one ( my Nelly Moser) I think I got from Michigan about was a one inch dried out twig with maybe two little roots on it) I stuck it in the ground and forgot about it, expecting nothing, and swearing I'd order nothing from them again. I think I got it from them about 10 years first experience with mail order. I have learned a lot since then. I now order from White Flower Farm, I have ordered them with sucess from Wayside Gardens, and Klehms Song Sparrow Nursery. I may try Chalk Hill this year. I have gotten them from local nurseries, but I have to say the didn't transplant that well, and none of the ones from the nurseries are still here, the mail order ones are going great. Oh yeah, and that one from Michigan Bulb.....the one dollar one..Nelly Moser...IT is huge and beautiful, last spring I counted over two hundred blooms on it at one time. It is 7 feet tall on a post, I do minimal pruning, I get some rebloom in the fall. It is gorgeous and full and always gets people stopping by. It is in partial shade all day long, no full sun. Last spring I planted Brunnera Jack Frost at her feet..I am waiting to see what a show that will produce... Good Luck, JoAnn

Here's a photo of the Florida Seiboldii that I put in last year..I got if from Klems Song Sparrow Nursery. They also have gorgeous peonies.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 12:17PM
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TeriA_NY(z5 NY)

Thank you for all of your suggestions.

I went on Chalk Hill and was looking at all the Clematis.

So far I think the "Belle Nantaise" maybe the best one for me. It grows to 10ft, Prune Light, Zones 4-9, and blooms early summer to autumn.

If I just get one plant will it cover my trellis which is about 6 foot high, it is shaped like a fan (about 4 inch across at the bottom and 3 ft across at the top).

Thanks again for any suggestions.

(JoAnn your picture is absolutely beautiful.)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 8:27AM
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simon5136(z6.5 NY)

hi TeriA

I've had very good luck with Chalk Hill. I would suggest two or even three Clematis planted in a group and all working onto and around your trellis. Planted about two feet apart they will not compete and two or three different shades will mix on your trellis.

Clemats need moist roots, (not wet) and should be planted in a soil that has ground pine bark, some peat moss and good soil. In this environment, the roots will reach down and spread and enable the vine to have extraordinary growth and blossoms. They say cool, shady roots and sunshine up above...but they really mean moist roots and not necessarilly shady. We spot our plants near or against boulders or against a pin oak tree or a chain link fence and feed them when they are loaded with buds and blossoms.

I'll e-mail some pics when I have a chance.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 10:40AM
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simon5136(z6.5 NY)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 8:59PM
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simon5136(z6.5 NY)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 11:53PM
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