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I have a collection of about 35 to 40 Clematis plants of various different varieties, some of which are in pots and some are planted in the ground. My problem is this - they have all gradually deteriorated form lush healthy plants into sparsely leaved spindly plants, with many not flowering at all this year. The problems started about 3 years ago and since then I have re potted all the plants in their pots and mulched and fed all the plants in the ground. Please help as I would hate to lose my collection.
Are you feeding your plants regularly throughout the summer? Last summer, for example, was so wet that a single spring feed would have been washed out of the ground, leaving the plants very hungry.
Theres an old adage that says, 'Keep the roots damp and shaded and the leaves in the sun.' They also have large roots and love a bit of compost !
I agree with Alina. Clematis are very hungry plants and most of mine have suffered this year from an excess of rain and lack of warmth after already being challenged by drought all last year. Some of my 40+ clems have done very well, others have struggled then finally put on a show and some have just struggled despite TLC.
I plan on giving them all bonemeal to feed their roots this winter plus a mulch of compost and then big feeds of blood, fish and bone in early spring and clematis food as growth starts in earnest. If they look at all dodgy, I'll give them instant tonic with liquid rose or tomato food once the worst frosts are past in May.
only feed when in flower not when they are just leaves.
Sorry to disagree, flowering rose, but Taylors Clematis says the exact opposite:
"Good feeding is important. In order to produce good flowers the plants should be fed by a good general, branded fertilizer following the manufacturer's recommendations- twice a week. Start feeding by mid-spring and continue until just before flowering. Do not feed during flowering as this will tend to reduce the flowering period."
See here: http://www.taylorsclematis.co.uk/plant-care.html
obelixx you have mentioned 4 different feeds is it possible to use just one and if so which one?
Like I said, clematis are greedy. Bonemeal given in autumn and worked in round the base of the plant will help roots over winter and thus betetr above ground shoots next srping and summer.. Blood fish and bone is a balanced general fertiliser that will help growth of the whole plant. Clematis food is sepcifically balanced to help flower production and tomato food is specifically balanced to help with flower and fruit production so I will use all four feeds at different stages of growth because I want good growth, good flowers and good fluffy seedheads on the early group 1 flowerers such as Red Robin and then a repeat season of flowering in May/june and then late summer from the early hybrids (group 2s) and a long season of flowers followed by seedheads from the summer flowering group 3s as well as perfume from the ones that have that too.
The same feeding regime will be good for roses and any other climber or shrub from which you expect a high performance level.
Thank you all for your replies. I think that my spring feeding must have been washed out of the pots and ground. Next year I will do as suggested and feed the plants more. Thank you all for your suggestions.
Obelixx I found your advice about feeding clematis really useful. This year i planted 12, more next year. Just how much bonemeal would you give. Small handful, good handful, spoonful ??? Would be very grateful for reply and will attemt to keep your advice
A good handful per plant lightly forked in around the base. Good to add to the soil at planting time too.
Did add it at planting time, just rest of time not sure of. Thanks