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Jean Genie

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their comments and advice and at the risk of becoming a stalker , I have another question.

I've just treated myself to yet another clematis - it's an Andromeda and has very pale pink flowers with a darker pink stripe running through. It looks a bit like an anaemic " Nelly " but very pretty. I'm looking for something to underplant it with as I never shade the roots with stones, slate,etc. - find too many beasties living underneath !



 too many beasties hide underneath them. It' s in a big blue pot so something to contrast nicely please.

Jean Genie

Oops done something wrong there !

Clematis are very hungry and thirsty plants so be prepared to feed and water regularly during the growing season and alo protect the roots form freezing in winter as they are more exposed to frost in a pot above ground.

You could underplant with pelargoniums for the summer or for a permanent planting try evergreen grasses such as forms of carex buchananii or blue fescue.   other than that, any hanging basket subject such as trailing lobelia or petnuias would do well but would need replenishing each year.

However, I personally would choose a mulch of slate or gravel with occasional applications of wildlife friendly slug pellets to get the nasties that might eat young clem shoots.


Jean Genie

Thanks Obeliixx , hmmm , you've just given me a great idea with your suggestion of grasses - I've got some Ophiopogon ( something or other ! ) Anyway, it's black . Do you think that would be o.k. to split and transplant now ?

I've got a few other clematis in pots and Crystal Fountain is underplanted with Labrador violet that self-seeded itself so I left it . Only shallow rooted I think so not been a problem, Only problem being it's everywhere but I just leave it - love their little faces !

Up to now all clems are doing well - they are better fed than we are !!!

Will have a think , thanks .

Ps Will also have a think about  gravel - just can't be doing with the things I find living there .

I've got a couple of wide but shallow pots that I put a kind of hanging-baskety display into every summer. I sit them in the top of my clem pot both to cover its scruffy ankles up and keep its roots cool. Works really well. Saves the bedding competing with the clem for food and water, and avoids damaging its roots when you change the display too. You just have to make sure that when you water, you run the hose between the pots so the clem gets its own supply. You can even have a different display for winter, though I'd recommend leaving it naked once the clem starts with new shoots in the spring, though, so there's nowehere for slugs and snails to hide.


Jean Genie

What a great idea Auntie Betty - just love this site everyone has such a wealth of knowledge to share . I shall have a ponder- thank you.You are right about the scruffy ankles though only part of clems I dislike!

Jean- ophiopgon should look good but as mine is about to flower soon I would wait till autum to start transplanting or it'll get too stressed.  May also be a bit short to hide bare clem legs.

Jean Genie

Thanks for the advice , I think you're right - it may be a bit short . Mine's only flowered once , tiny blue ones . Do you feed yours ? No sign of anything on mine yet . Don't know much about grasses . Also , any tips on erythroniums ? Got two last year - one pagoda and one pink beauty. the pagoda came up and had loads of flowers but I didn't even get a leaf on the pink ones . They are in pots in shade and are well watered but think someone told me that the pink one is hard to establish. Shall I just leave them and hope for the best next year ?


My ophiopogums do best in well drained soil and lmine is naturally very fertile being ex cow pasture.  I don't feed them specifically but do scatter pelleted chicken manure on all my beds in spring.   I grew them in a gravel bed on clay soil in my previous garden and they were deleriously happy and spread very well.

You can use the Plant Selector on the RHS website to look up specific cultivation needs for plants or just google plant name+cultivation.  I'm afraid I can't help you with erythroniums as I've never seen any to buy here.

Jean Genie

Thanks, I did research erythoniums when I planted them last autumn but problem being only cultivation notes on website - no trouble shooting guide. May post another question ! As for the ophiopogum , it was in the rockery at first but getting swamped by all sorts of other plants and not doing very well , Growing well in pot but no flowers.

Haven't used chicken pellets but may try depending on whether alkaline or not (or is that mushroom compost ) - my soil is predominately acidic so it's fish blood and bone or rose food sprinkled everywhere.

Many years ago I decided to spread horse manure everywhere not knowing about the nitrogen content - great foliage, not many flowers !

Mushroom compost has the lime content.  Pelleted chicken manure is a good general fertiliser.

Jean Genie

Thanks Obelixx Think I may try that .

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