clematis vs american wisteria

Lynn NevinsAugust 21, 2012

I bought an american wysteria a few months ago and a clematis maybe 6 weeks later. The American Wysteria has taken off and is doing really well. The clematis in comparison, not so much. Is clematis maybe just a slow grower compared to American Wisteria?

Tx!

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Lynn Nevins

adding a new message as I don't think I initially checked the box for replies to come back to me... ;-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:43PM
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gardengal48

Most vines take around 3 years to establish and put on lots of growth and flower well. It is just a testament to wisteria's robustness that you are already seeing a lot of growth (an established wisteria can put out 20-25' of growth in a season).

Yes, most clematis varieties are MUCH slower growers than any kind of wisteria.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Lynn Nevins

Thanks Gardengal.

So far the clematis just has two long-ish vines coming from the main stem at the soil line. These two long-ish vines haven't grown much in the past few weeks or developed any offshoots to speak of. As a result there's no bushy-ness like the wisteria has.

I am generally inclined to cut stems back in order to promote bushy-ness vs a boring 'leggy' look...not that I'd necessarily cut it back just above the soil line but....do you think I could cut back the long stems just a bit..over a pair of leaves...in order to stimulate more offshoots?

Or should I just wait to see what happens next Spring...sometimes I think plants that look a bit paltry one year...the next year they can often come back with a resurgence, yes?

Tx!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 9:50PM
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gardengal48

Absolutely!! Clematis should be pruned back hard for at least the first two growing seasons. Whether you choose to do it this fall or at the end of winter is your choice. And by "hard" I mean to the second set of buds above the soil level.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Lynn Nevins

thanks so much. I don't think I had that in my how-to notes for clematis!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:45PM
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