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16 messages
18/05/2012 at 10:43

Hi all, im new to the site, have recently begun gardening after 12 years of living in a flat and surviving on houseplants.  I used to garden with my mum and neighbour as a child/teen and remember a lot but not enough for these two beauties.

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7729.jpg?width=307&height=350&mode=max

This had fallen over when i moved in last June, I put a small trellis up and gave it what tlc i know and it has grown a good bit now and actually flowered till just before xmas and stayed green all winter except the bottom foot or two which went brown in Jan/Feb (seems to have come back well) but i was unsure what type it was, after some research i think it is a Clematis Jackmanii Superba but still not 100% sure.  The care tips for Jack are to prune in spring (too late now) and i have no idea how to even begin looking after him properly so am asking for advice.  Please help as this should be a beautiful plant.

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7730.jpg?width=307&height=350&mode=max

 This naked specemin was almost exactly like this in July last year and is still in the same condition today, seems there may be some leaf bud starting on some branches, but only one or two and they have been like that for a few months- almost on the cusp of opening but not quite.  There was a little id card in the ground beside it which claims it is a Rhodedendron 'Catawb. Grandiflorum' but the instructions on it are faded and in gobbledegook.  If this is a Rhodedendron I would love to get it into good condition as i do like them, so any help on this one would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks(hopefully) 

18/05/2012 at 11:14

The rhododenderon may be in need of the soil acidifying if your soil is not already acid. In either case I would feed it with rhododendron food. Other than that, make sure that it stays moist throughout the summer, which should help it revive.

The clematis would probably also appreciate some food - they are greedy feeders.

18/05/2012 at 11:17

Thanks Alina, Geuss i will be making a trip to the garden shop then 

18/05/2012 at 11:20

Also, any ideas on how to get the clematis to grow along the wall instead of all over itself?

I dont have a drill strong enough to drill into the brickwork to attach a bigger trellis, this little trellis is held up by string and hooks screwed into the cement between the bricks! 

18/05/2012 at 11:22

actually, how do i find out if the soil is acid?

18/05/2012 at 11:33

You can buy a kit at the garden centre - they're not very expensive, meant for a single use.

Training clematis - how about hooks and wires? You might need rawl plugs to get them safely in the cement, but it should work fine.

18/05/2012 at 11:42

Great, thanks, thats me got a few jobs to keep me busy and hopefully Jack and Roody (the Rhodedendron) will be happy little plants again soon

18/05/2012 at 15:41

Jack will be easier to train when he's been pruned next year & you can see the new shoots sprouting up.I have several clems growing through shrubs, they look lovely too. I have bought several from Morrisons for under £2. I'm going to plant a passion flower through lonicera baggesens gold. I think the blue will look lovely against the acidic green.

18/05/2012 at 16:32

You can check here - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=237 to see if your clem is a Jackmanii.  If it is, I suggest you borrow a drill from someone as it would like to grow tto 3 or 4 metres and therefore needs a bigger trellis or lots more wires stretched across hooks and at 12 to 18 inch intervals up the wall.  Clematis are hungry and thirsty but don't like to have wet feet so give it a handful of pelleted chicken manure every spring and an occasional liquid feed of rose or tomato fertiliser until the first flowers open.   Next Feb or March, depending on whether it's freezing or not, prune it back hard to about 30cms when you see new shoots forming at soil level and feed it.  It will then put on new growth for the season.  You can then train these new shoots along youur wires.

Rhododendrons like woodland settings with acidic soil enriched by leaf mould.  Yours looks starved so feed it with slow release pelleted chicken manure and give it an instant tonic of liquid rose or rhododendron food.  Make sure it doesn't get thirsty in summer and early autumn as this is when it forms its flower buds for next year.  Make sure you give it rain water if you live in ahard water area.  Yours doesn't look anaemic so the soil is probably OK but, if in doubt, give it an occasional drink of water with added sequesterd iron - available at good garden centres.

18/05/2012 at 18:27

I'm wondering whether the rhodedendron is in a rain shadow. It does look a bit close to the wall.

19/05/2012 at 06:26

I Googled this plant and came up with lots of info.  It looks like a biggy - height after 10-15 years is 7ft, mature height 20ft  - However the sites I saw were all in the USA.  Hope this helps.

19/05/2012 at 07:06

Hi Siminstance

agree with figrat, seems to me that your rhododendron is not feeling well.

needs acidic soilds (peat compost), well-drained (near water pipe may not be a good idea, well balanced NPK, and good sunshine.

Take care

19/05/2012 at 07:45

Hi there

agree with figrat, but not with Obelix. Rhod looks anaemic to me, for a plant of this size probably 2-3 yrs old. I would say it's starving and perhaps dying...

Rhod will like a light loam, acidic but well drained (ner the gutter may be a wet plot). True for rain water as opposed to tap water, especially if calcareous.

Rhod also likes light, lot of ot. Perhaps the corner is a bit shadowy??

Check the above 2 factors before pouring feeding stuff, otherwise you won't get much more results.

If you transplant to another spot, consider trimming the branches after replanting: keep the strongest ones, cut all by 30% height. Allow re-sprouting, then fertilize to light doses.

Good luck!

AP

19/05/2012 at 08:01
siminstance wrote (see)

actually, how do i find out if the soil is acid?

One easy way is to look at gardens near you - do they grow any acid soil lovers such as Camelia, Rhodedendron, Pieris?

20/05/2012 at 01:14

Thanks everyone for all the advice, i will have a go at anything- will get on it tomorrow. My neighbours do not seem to have any rhod's though there are loads in a nearby park.  The sun comes up behind my house so the corner this is in (at the front) gets sunshine directly only after noon.  There is no water pipe there, however the garden slopes down to this area from the street so it does get quite wet in the rain.  I do live in a soft water area- Glasgow to be precise, but we are experiencing a very wet year up here.  I suppose it could be any of the suggestions above so i will just have to start working through them- one of them is bound to work! (i hope)......

20/05/2012 at 10:56

When a rhodo is anaemic or chlorotic, its leaves go pale.  Yours are quite green from what I can see so I reckon it's hungry, and maybe too wet but they are woodland edge plants and enjoys some shade and dampness.

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