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Hello All,

I have several different clematis in different areas of the garden, most of them growing up that small squared plastic mesh to hide fences etc.  What is the best way to cover the whole thing and increase flower number rather than have the plant race straight up the support?  Should I try and train stems horizontally to encourage side shoots to grow vertically like you would a rose?


Thanks Pete but it's not pruning I need to know about, it's training.  I know about the three pruning groups.  Thanks though. 


Category refers to when you prune. I'd tie them where you want them. I weave mine in and out of the trellis. You could put a few wires / twine to encourage them to go where you want. Plus give them a tomato feed.


MrsG you don't have to be specific like roses, taking a lateral to form a main etc...just tie them where you want, it hasn't hurt mine.


Do you also pinch out the tips to encourage bushing at the base KEF?

Mrs G


with clematis you can pinch out the buds withi 2 leaves . This encourages greater side shoots and a bushier plant. You can pinch out the shoots up till the end of may, then stop pinchoutbuildingoutbuilding

i have done this with my clematis and have had great results

Cheers Steve, good to know as I now have three group 1's and I'd like them to be thick from the base of the fences up rather than tall and skinny.


Thanks for posting this question Mrs G, I'm growing clematises for the first time this year so will follow Steve's advice, thanks steve also, and KEF

You're welcome, I have 9 clematis so far!  

Hi I have no luck at all with clematis. I garden in a small back yard  which is part shade all day  and the other half is shady from late afternoon. Can anyone recommend any  suitable varieties please. 


lills try  Taylors clematis they are really easy to use for requirements


lills, have you tried growing your clematis in deep pots for a year before planting?  I always do this when buying young clematis and have excellent success rates when I plant them into their final positions.  I always prepare a very deep hole and fill with home made compost, before planting the year-old clematis about 4-6 inches deeper than when they were in the pots.  Before I started doing this (many years ago) I lost a lot of plants in the first year, mainly because many of the well-known suppliers do send plants which are too small to successfully plant out.  This is the sort of thing I use:

 Edit: note that the better suppliers tend to send you plants in this size pot.  More expensive but far more likely to thrive, so well worth the extra.


Training clematis to spread horizontally will naturally encourage them to make more shoots and more flowers but the two key things are to get the pruning regime right for each plant and also to make sure they get generous feeding from very early spring up until the end of June or when flowering starts, whichever is later.

New clematis can take a year or two to settle in and get their roots happily established  and producing new shoots and flowers.     As Bob says, planting deep is key to clematis success.

I have about 40 clematis after having lost some to severe winters but this spring, one of last year's no shows is pushing up new shoots and looking good, a benefit of deep planting.    I shall be training it as horizontally as possible and feeding it well..


Ashleigh 2

Obelixx 40!!!! so jealous, which are your favourites?


Mrs G and Mrs Garden

Hope your clematis grow well. I use 6 processes in spring to give them the opportunity to give their best

1. Prune as required

2. Blood fish and bone dug in around the base of the plant

3. Mulch around the base with 2in of good quality compost

4. Place section of slate over the base of the plant to keep the sun heat away from the roots of the clematis and keep them cool and moist. This is only required if the planting position of the clematis in a sunny position


5.  Apply a solvable fertiliser feed such as phostogene every 2 weeks up to the end of April

6.  Change this to a tomato feed at the the beginning of May and apply every 2 weeks until the first flowers appear

I have 36 clematis in my garden it takes a lot of hard work and effort but normally they give me a great display each summer/autumn 

Also in my opinion they always look more natural growing up a shrub than a trellis

Enjoy your gardens







Ashleigh - no favourites really.   I love the delicate alpina forms but can't grow them here as they want to perform when my winters are usually still dragging on and they die of cold.   Ditto montanas and armandii.

I stick to a few group 2s such as Nelly Moser which I've paired with Ravarhinne for extra impact on a north facing wall, Red Robin which is a group 1 and all the rest are group 3s hardy down to -25C - Blue Angel, Chrystal Fountain, Arabella, Princess Diana, Silver Moon, Sunset, Hendryetta, Little Nell, Minuet, Alba Luxurians, Betty Corning (scented), Huldene, Dr Ruppel and many more.

Thanks for the advice everyone.  It looks like I'll have to add some compost, and BF&F to my clay soil when digging the planting holes. 


Spend as much on the hole MrsG  -timewise even if not financially.  Prep is the key and I'd agree with Bob totally about the deep pots. When I buy clematis in those pots I always keep them for future use. Small clematis in smaller pots means they're usually very young so they need a bit of time to grow and develop into decent plants. 


My alpinas are in bud and Pamela Jackman is showing colour already - and this on a north facing fence