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05/07/2012 at 10:25

Hi

I  bought the above plant in the spring from T&M and it's now in a large pot on my decking and climbing up the pergola.

One of the large flowers started to open yesterday but it is now closing and feels very floppy?? I have handled and 'admired' it a lot as its my first success - new gardener that I am - and wandered if this was why. Or are there other reasons the flower is dying?

There are lots of new buds on the plant and the plant is very healthy otherwise so is it I that has been the problem in this case, even tho I was very gentle with it??

Thank you

05/07/2012 at 10:46

You may have accidentally damaged the stem so it has wilted.  Just cut it off with a pair of sharp scissors or secateurs and leave the other buds alone to open as they may.  tis is a group 2 clematis which means it will produce a second flush of lowers in late summer if you remove all the dead heads as they go over.

However, as yours is young and only flowering now, you may not get so many 2nd flush flowers this year.   Next spring, don't prune it at all except to remove any obviously dead stems after the new leaf buds start to open.   Then give it a good feed of general purpose blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and a liquid tonic of tomato food for extra flowers.  You can also buy specially formulated clematis feed which is designed to promote flower growth.  Clematis are hungry plants so don't scimp on the feed but don't feed after June either or you'll get soft sappy growth which won't withstand winter frosts.

05/07/2012 at 10:50

Thankyou so much for all this advice - have cut it off now and will await the other buds opening. This time I will leave them alone -

 

05/07/2012 at 14:39

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To return to the topic of clematis, many have horribly fragile stems. Whenever I see advice on clematis that includes the words 'tie them in to a support', I  feel deeply cynical. I can't do it without breaking them. I do have a go, but I do it as loosely - and therefore messily - as I can. Just a bit of loose support and then they are on their own! One thing that has finally dawned on me is that lush displays of clematis usually have more than one plant in them. I put four of the same species around a garden arch, grwoing through a couple of roses, and they are begiinning to look worthwhile. Just thought I'd mention it.

06/07/2012 at 17:16

Indeed you are so right gardening grandma, I took to examining the gorgeous cflematis (and other plant) displays I saw at garden shows, rather more closely than perhaps I was supposed to.  The beautiful displays did indeed have anything from 4 - 8 plants per pot - no wonder mine looked skimpy in comarison.  Also, most of us try to grow just about everything we can, and clematis will be part of that, whereas many nurseries of course concentrate on the plants they are wishing to grow and sell.  Always good people from whm to ask advice though, as they have superior knowledge, even if for only the plant(s) in which they specialise. 

06/07/2012 at 17:53

Clematis do thicken up with time.  i planted one Etoil Violette some years ago and it did take a couple of years to get going but now that one plant produces dozens of stems from the base each year and is rapidly outgrowing its arch support.   Same with a Princess Diana that has outgrown its obelisk so i now train it over onto a tallish acer Sango Kaku.   Red Robin is another that grows very thickly and other clems are finally beefing up too.

It's that age old thing of gardeners having the patience to wait for the full effect whilst growers have to display their plants as best they can and in tip top condition, especially at shows, so use tricks to get the effect of mature plants.

07/07/2012 at 03:35

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This is my first attempt at growing a Clematus & it is climbing well.  I'm not sure how to prune it as not sure which bits are dead & I'm also afraid to cut off where it grows from as the main stem is just a single very, very thin stem & could be broken so easily.  I have a gnome standing just where it comes out of the ground & daren't move him as he seems to be guarding against it being attacked!

It's now in it's third year of blooming, is climbing further up an old wall & doing well. As it's at the bottom of my garden, it gets very little attention & I have never pruned it.  It seems to do well left to it's own devices.

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