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Still baby clems w/ root competition?

Posted by butterclem z6 W.PA (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 23, 08 at 13:22


I have a number of clematises receiving a lot of root competition from two huge spruces and some small shrubs. I know these clematises will take longer to establish than my others. I think I wasn't quite vigilant enough with water and fertilizer this summer (my mother broke her hip), but am now back on the job. My question is: how late into the fall should I provide these particular clematises extra water, and when should they get their last dose of rose food?

I thought that in the spring I would give the two that seem to be really struggling a good dose of liquid fertilizer. Make sense?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Still baby clems w/ root competition?

I don't like fertilizing anything that dies back in my yard after Labor day here in NC. Additional fertilizer after that point is going to try and stimulate new top growth and what I want my clematis to be doing is saving energy for winter and not growing like gangbusters. Sometimes the clematis still grow fairly rapidly after that point since the temps have cooled off and their is more rain. At least I know that Mother Nature is coaxing them to grow and it is not due to my intervention.

As for water, you can continue giving them that if the weather is especially dry in your area. Poke around in the ground and see how the soil moisture is in the vicinity and let that be your guide. I have stopped providing my clematis in the ground any additional water since we have begun getting sufficient rain and the temps have significantly dropped.

Make sure your liquid fertilizer is not one high in nitrogen or you will stimulate a lot of vegetative growth and few flowers.

RE: Still baby clems w/ root competition?

I wasn't going to give them any fertilizer this fall. But I thought a good dose of liquid fertilizer in very early spring prior to my usual regimen of rose fertilizer would be a good idea in this rooty area.

We had lots of rain in early summer, but it has been very dry for several weeks now. So I guess I'll just keep watering until Thanksgiving as I do for shrubs and trees younger than three years.


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