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Clematis w/different pruning requirements

Posted by patreesh 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 28, 07 at 19:30

Hi, I'm afraid I've made a huge mistake. I live in zone 5, in Syracuse, New York. This is the first year I've grown clematis. I have a 7' tall x 4' wide arbor and have planted Sweet Autumn, jackmanii, fireworks, lasurstern and blue angel to grow up the arbor. They're going to be one gigantic mass of vines and I'll have no idea of how to prune what! Will the Sweet Autumn Clematis be as aggressive here as it would be further south? Any suggestions? Thanks so much. (I've posted this to the clematis forum but wanted to hear from those of you in my area who may have had a similar situation).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Clematis w/different pruning requirements

Patreesh - Where on earth did you find a Sweet Autumn? I'm in the Saratoga area and can't find one.


RE: Clematis w/different pruning requirements

That is too many clematis for a single arbor, they will not have enough space.

I grow sweet autumn clematis and it has gotten huge in just 2 years. That single clematis would more than dwarf your trellis, I would consider moving it somewhere else because it will outcompete all your other clematis.

I just LOVE clematis, so I know why you got carried away :-)

RE: Clematis w/different pruning requirements

Wantoretire, they are easy to find at local nurseries here. Try going to and enter your zip code in the upper right hand corner of the page. Should tell you which nurseries carry their plants in your area. Their stuff is of excellent quality - I've never been disappointed.

Gottagarden, thanks for your advice! Any suggestions where I could move the SAC? I have no fences or anything other than the arbor that could support it. Where do you have yours?

RE: Clematis w/different pruning requirements

  • Posted by hammerl z5-6 Amherst NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 9:49

I agree, way too many for one arbor. My sweet autumn (I'm near Buffalo) gets to be at least 16 feet long minimum in filtered sun, and I hack it back to just a couple inches high each year. And it has gotten thick enough that I just let it hang out with one climbing rose on each side of the arbor. I have a rather generously sized arbor at that -- one of the big, heavy smith and hawken ones. I used to have a smaller cheap one, and a combination of a wind storm and the weight of the sweet autumn brought it down. It is much more vigorous (MUCH MORE) than any other clematis I own (and I've got seven others, including clematis tangutica which is rather, um, energetic).

My others are all happy climbing chain link fences (OK, the tangutica climbs the fence and then hops onto the coral honeysuckle) or a trellis. I can't imagine SAC on a trellis. Before I got the arbor, I let it run down the chain link fence. Horizontally. I can't imagine where else you'd put yours if all you have is the arbor. You might want to move a couple of the others onto trellises, perhaps.

RE: Clematis w/different pruning requirements

Can anyone suggest something that would support the SAC and not cost a fortune?

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