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Jean Genie

Hi, I was tidying up the garden yesterday and was amazed to discover that a clematis that I planted about 8 years ago has re- grown itself through my shrub border. It 's a duchess of edinburgh and I know now that it is a difficult one to establish so thought that may be the reason why it died. Not only is it growing well but has 2 big flowers on it . It's growing through a euonymus alatus and looks quite healthy. Is this unusual and can I expect it to live ? There's a lot of shrubs packed around it and I can't see where the roots are and can't remember where I planted it. Thanks.


I have several "Lazarus" clematis which have sprung back to life after an apparent death.  Mostly the gap is 2, 3 or 4 years so 8 may be exceptional.  I would expect it to survve now and do well as it porbably has a decent root system going now.

I'd encourage it by giving a couple of watering cans full of tomato feed now and then next year in early spring and weekly until the first blooms appear.  That'll do wonders for the other stuff in there too..

Jean Genie

Thanks Obelixx , Just been chatting to hubby - he says it's more like 12 years ago as he has photos of when we had a makeover on garden .  Can't believe it ! As mentioned it's flowering now so I' ll do the feed later around the area . I didn't spot it as the alatus leaves same colour as clematis leaves nearly . If it wasn't for the flowers I may not have spotted it at all !  I'm made up with it -  I'll have a re-think now before I decide anything has expired . Hope for my acer yet .


Duchess of Edinburgh is gorgeous but in my experience it's a little tricky and very picky about it's situation - I had one that I moved around the garden two or three times until it decided it was happy enough to send up more than one wiry straggly stem, no matter what I did to it.  When I found a spot it liked, which, IIR was quite shady, it romped away within a matter of months and bloomed beautifully.  Maybe the increased shade as the shrubs have grown has given your DoE just what it wanted?  

Anyway, how lovely, and thanks for reminding me of a beautiful clematis - I shall put it on my list for this new garden 

Jean Genie

Yes I agree it's a wonderful clematis - the two flowers I have on it are doubles and they are stunning ! Just hope it survives as it's not far from that darn tree ! ( See my post on garden gaffes ) Do you know if they flower until late in the season ? Thinking how well it will look when the alatus starts turning to red . Found pics last night and hubby right - it was originally planted 12 years ago . Amazing !!!



I agree they are tricky, I've had oine growing for about 5 years in one place and all the flowers are now at the top of my pergola, virtually out of site.



That often happens with group 2 clems if they don't get pruned.

Take off all the dead heads as soon as they die.  Do not let them waste energy on seeds.    Give them a boost with a generous drink of liquid rose or tomato food and a top dressing of slow release blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.  They should then produce a new flush of flowers in late summer and should also produce new growth lower down for next year's spring show.

You can also cut one main stem per year at the base and, when it's all wilted after a few days, pull it out gently.  This weill help generate growth form the roots and new stems will flower lower down.  Next spring, feed as above in early spring as soon as new growth shows.

Jean Genie

Should I prune mine or just leave until it gets more established ? ( Hopefully )


As described above.  Cut off the dead flowers so it puts energy into new shoots and flowers.

Jean Genie

Was going to post some photos - don't think it the upload worked - help !

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