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Clematis Combo

Posted by melaroma 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 29, 12 at 13:56

I have a bed that is roughly about 6' x 12' in full sun with a bit of afternoon shade where I currently have a butterfly bush that I am yanking out due to poor performance. I also have a lil' miss kim lilac in that same bed. I would like to plant my jackmanii clematis and have it trail up a trellis that I am installing on the wall. I recently bought a PeeGee hydrangea that I would also like to include in that bed. My question is wether I should plant the clematis at the very back edge of the bed and plant the PeeGee a bit to the right or plant the PeeGee at the back left corner and plant the clematis to the right. Or if I should plant the clematis directly behing the PeeGee so that the roots are covered and then train it to climb a bit off to the sides...

Also, What do you think of the combo of the Peegee, Jackmanii and lilac? Anything else you'd throw in? I have six ducks and two chickens that are constantly getting in that bed and have obliterated most of my perennials that I had planted in it so I am opting for bushes now.

Here is a picture of the bed last year so it doesn't contain the Lilac in it:

Plants in my back Yard

Follow-Up Postings:

just something to keep in mind....

I planted a Clematis behind my 'Miss Kim' lilac against the fence and it has struggled here for years.

Too much shade, too much root competition and too dry. I thought it would grow up and through the lilac but it has not and it is about dead now after at least five years of struggling.

Clematis need big amended holes without root competition.

I started all wrong over ten years ago just chopping holes in native soil near trees and shrubs and cramming the Clematis in. They've never thrived.

The ones in beds without major competition that are well worked and amended before planting are much, much better performers even though most are a lot younger...

RE: Clematis Combo

Thanks. Maybe I can plant the Clematis in the back right corner, The Lilac in the middle right so that it is well spaced from the clematis and the Peegee in the Left side? That way the clematis would not have to compete for space. I can plant some catmint towards the front on the right and that way the whole back right will be dedicated to the Clematis. My bed has already been amended and I add 2 inches of compost in the spring each year.

RE: Clematis Combo

I think it may depend on how PeeGee Hydrangeas grow in your area. If they tend to be open or "leggy" with the blooms and foliage concentrated on top or ends of the branches, then I think a clematis would do fine planted behind or next to the hydrangea to mingle with it. Here is a picture of a Comtesse de Bouchaud and H.F. Young growing through a Burgundy Lace Hydrangea up against my garage.


The clematis are both planted right up against the garage, into the smallest holes I could cram them in. I usually dig as larage/deep a hole as I can, but in this case the shrub was already there, as well as a mat of vinca minor. In spite of sharing the bed with shrubs and an aggressive ground cover, both clematis are thriving. All I do is add homemade compost to them about once a year and water them on a drip system. They aren't in full sun though (between house and garage) so the ground there stays kind of moist, which may have helped them get established. I don't think I'd plant a clematis next to or behind a dense shrub like a Miss Kim Lilac, but something more open is worth a try.

RE: Clematis Combo

  • Posted by ditas z 4b-5 Iowa (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 17, 12 at 9:54

Oh WOW!!! Love your combo almonds.. ~ how old is your B-lace H won't she get too large? Have been toying on the thought of weaving Clems thru some of my Hs planted in both side foundations (N & S ~ too little & too much sun) How much sun does your combo get?

Have 3 still in containers ~ am figuring yet where to sink & wish to have them climb & weave thru my Hs (I have a collection of H paniculatas)!

Couldn't Melaroma plant in a tight hole & sink PVC piece along for watering ~ will Clem still hurt from competition?

TIA for response!!!

RE: Clematis Combo

Clematis do fine growing through H. paniculatas or H. macrophyllas and I also have one (Guernsey Cream) growing through a lilac, though not a dense one like Miss Kim. Just be sure to plant them outside the ultimate drip line of the Hydrangea so that they don't have root competition and let the shrub get established first since they grow slower. I guide my clems toward shrubs with a bamboo stake at a 45 degree angle and it seems to work well. You also want to think about the kind of clem, since type 3s you can cut down and pull out the old vines for the winter, while type 2s and 1s you will have the old vines visible in deciduous shrubs over the winter. I tend to grow type 3s where we see them in winter and put the type 1s and 2s where we don't go in the winter so the messy old vines don't bother me. Also, you don't want a monster clematis like Betty Corning growing on a small or medium shrub.

Clematis really are much happier with adequate moisture and no root competition as buyorsell says.

RE: Clematis Combo

Thanks, I wasn't planning on the clematis growing on the shrub but rather on a trellis. I couldn't make up my mind and since the root system on the clematis is fragile I decided to pot her up and revisit the idea of planting her next spring. She seems to be triving in her pot with her temporary obelisk support and I have already begun to pinch her back. She is a group 3 btw, so I will be cutting her down in the winter. I still have to get around to planting my hydrangea which is a bareroot so I am probably going to pot her up as well at least until fall when I can decide where I want things and get around to transplanting things.

I have heard about using bamboo sticks at an angle to guide the clematis to a trellis and am wondering how that looks. Do you happen to have a picture of that? I just planted my Nelly a bit off to the side of my trellis in the front yard and now I need to guide her to the trellis and was contemplating using the bamboo sticks.

RE: Clematis Combo

How close is Nelly to the trellis? You may not need the sticks. I use them with the shrubs since they may be 3 feet or more apart. A couple of feet I can guide by hand, and once it's started, I just check every so often for new stems that might need a bit of assistance.

RE: Clematis Combo

She actually isn't very far from the trellis so I will probably guide her to it sometime after I chop her down to 6". She is just about to flower so I figure that I might as well enjoy the show since she has worked so hard to produce it :)

RE: Clematis Combo

Ditas- My Burgundy Lace was planted in the fall of 2005, I think from a 3 gallon pot. I put 3 of them in that area, and am hoping to propagate them to add a couple more soon. If I left them unpruned they would definitely outgrow that area, but I prune them every spring as the new growth comes in, cutting them just above leaf nodes that are facing upwards to encourage the growth up and not out over the pathway that runs between the house and garage. It is a frequently used pathway from our side door where we enter/exit 99% of the time, with lots of foot (and paw) traffic, bikes, and scooters, so I do have to keep them mostly in their narrow (3 foot wide) beds. When I planted them, I had no experience with gardening and maybe wouldn't have planted them had I known how big they were supposed to get, but seeing as they are so easy to prune (without making them look like a formal hedge), I'm glad I didn't know because they are one of my favorite plants and are so happy where they are. The space between the house and garage is only 8 feet wide, so they only get direct sun around noon for an hour or so, but the area seems to get reflected light longer than that from the pale house color. The Comtesse de Bouchaud was planted in 2007 because I think someone on this forum mentioned that it blooms well in shade, which it definitely has for me. H.F. Young went in a year later, and has also bloomed its head off in the mostly shady area. I added a Viorna a couple of years ago (from Brushwood) to another one of the Burgundy Lace shrubs, but it hasn't taken off yet and only has one stem, which I just pinched back to the ground because the leaves started looking like they had clematis wilt :(

Which vines did you get that you're thinking of growing through your hydrangeas?

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