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Not had any problems from their bulbs, but be careful if yo're buying perennial crms or tubers as these often fail.
Flowergirl your clematis has been instore and need to harden off before it can be planted, by being put outside in the day time (but not when it is very cold) and either taken indoors or put in a frost-free greenhouse in the nights. Personally, I don't like planting very young plants straight into the ground and would prefer to pot them on to grow on for another year into potting compost where they gind it easier to make plenty of root. Don;t let the top grow taller than about twelve inches, so that it can put its energy into making roots and also so that it produces multiple stems. If you do plant it into the ground, after hardening it off, dig a hole at least twice the size of the pot, sprinkle bonemeal into the bottom of the hole and fill around the roots with good soil. Plant the clematis (whether or not it is into a pot or the ground) with the top couple of inches of stem under the soil.
It might be an idea to tap the clematis out of its pot and have a look at the roots. If they are pretty small and do not fill the pot, the clematis can grow on in the existing pot for a while. Remember not to let the plant grow long stems or to flower and remember that clematis like their roots in shade and their tops in some sun. For the first two years, they need to concentrate on making a strong root system. Garden centres let them grow and make flowers because this will make them easier to sell, but by cutting them back fairly hard and sacrificing the flowers, you are making an investment in their future.
Gardening grandma thanks very much for you advice, I was hoping to cover a trellis this summer. I have so much to learn about buying plants I thought I was going to have a riot of colour
Flowergirl, if you want a riot of colour this summer, try planting Sweet Peas. You can just plant them around your clematis. It takes quite a long time for a clematis to cover a trellis and, depending on the size of the trellis, some will never get big enough - you'd need more than one. There's quite a lot to know about clematis, especially as there are so many different varieties. You need to keep a record of which clematis you have, so that you will know how to prune it.
if potting young clematis (i just got three from morrisons) would you keep them indoors for the year while they develop roots, or should they be outdoors to get used to a bit of weather/cold? i have no outdoor storage but i could leave them in pots on the windowsill for the summer and autumn maybe?
If you've just bought them from an indoor shop I'd harden them off over the next few weeks and then keep them outside
should i take them in for winter?
so it sounds like i should repot them in bigger pots with potting compost and harden them off, then leave them out, in those pots, and plant around this time next year? oh, and keep them trimmed back for a couple of years, in pots and then in the ground?
(the varieties are montana rubens, montana elizabeth, and dorothy walton (allegedly; another poster said morrisons clematis might well be mislabelled))
my location is edinburgh
montana clematis are quick growing i would pot them into bigger pots harden them off then put in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Then after your last frost put the montannas in the ground. Then next year about february trim them down to 30cm. After that trim montanna clematis only need pruning to keep in bounds. Dorothy walton will probably be slower growing and will need to be cut back to 30cm every year.
Never trim Montana's in Feb, they bloom on last years wood, you wont get any flowers. Prune straight after flowering.
They unlikley to put on enough growth to flower after there first year epecially the tiny ones from morrisons. At least mine didnt. But your right they only flower on last years growth.
good info everyone, thanks
glad i'll get to put them in the ground this year then, even if they don't do much
Shouldnt overlook Aldis or £stretchers either, weve had some great deals from them. Also b&q knockdown corner, you just have to be quick, blink and theyre gone. As soon as bargains are spotted the mobiles come out and texs start flying...cant wait for the bootsales to start as well
I have had some lovely bulbs from Morrisons. Also. Lidl, Aldi and Wilkinsons. Although with Wilkos you have to buy them early, they seem to dry out quickly there. Perhaps the shop is to warm. At those prices what have you got to loose.
I've bought plants & bulbs from Morrisons & they've been fine. I love Helebores & one of my loveliest ones cost me £2 from there about 4 years ago. Their summer bedding is pretty good too.
i accidentally left my three clematis plants out overnight last night (on the windowsill)
it was about 3-6 degrees last night and the ground was hard when i retrieved a dog poop from the flower bed this morning so there was a frost (i think?)
are they likely to be damaged?
You'll soon know if they are FS, the tips will go brown. I doubt if they'll have a problem. 3-6 degrees is not freezing and up against the house probably higher than that. They'll have hardened off a bit by now anyway