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How can I tell which clematis I have, I believe they fall into 3 groups, there were 5 in the garden when when I moved in. I cut them all very short at the end of last year but I think I got it wrong as 2 have not yet produced any buds or flowers and one produced one very large double frilly lilac and white flower at the bottom, but so far no more..
When they do flower, you can use this site to identify them based on colour of the tepals, the colourof the stamens, the time of flowering and that will give you their pruning group for future years. There is pruning info on the site.
In the mean time, to encourage them, give them some specialist clematis food granules plus an instant tonic of liquid tomato food.
Generally speakig, the large flowered hybrids (group 2) flower in May and June an dthen again in late summer if they've been given a light prune to remove spent flwoer heads and a good feed. Group 3 clematis flower in mid to late summer so haven't yet got going. These are the ones you cut right back in spring.
Group 1 clematis only get pruned when you need to keep them within bounds or renew vigour. This group includes early spring flowering clematis that flower on old wood but also things like the tanguticas which flower in mid to late summer on old wood. You can't really expect any flowers this year if your 5 included one or two of these.
Simple rule, Flower before June, don't prune. So leave them alone next year and see when they flower.
Think the rule might have to be July this year!!
Very true. My roses are also very late in coming into bloom and look like they're going to do it while wer're off on hols for the next two weeks. Very frustrating as it has taken my Kiftsgate until this year to recover from being blasted by a -32C frost in January 2009 and it's going to be glorious this year.
My May and June flowering clems are only just showing flower buds and no doubt wil also bloom while we're away and it looks like the birds will get all the redcurrants this year.
Not going away in July next year, that's for sure!