Richard Hodson

Latest posts by Richard Hodson

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 19:01

This is a picture of Star of India in the garden here, a superb old cultivar, almost 150 years old.

She is, however, rather prone to powdery mildew, which is not a killer but is unsightly, for that reason it is best planted deep and given plenty of water during the growing season.

If the roots dry out and the plant is stressed that is when powdery mildew kicks in.

It doesn't go away.

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 18:04

If you are unsure which Group your clematis are in then Google ' Clematis On The Web ', then look on A - Z and find details of your plant.

This website is used by clematis enthusiasts worldwide and is a fantastic reference book for approx. 3500 varieties of clematis.

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 11:47

Not all clematis benefit from being planted deep.  In my experience the Viticella Group, Viorna Group, some of the ' herbaceous ' should be planted deeper.

Viticellas definitely need the crown burying 4 to 6 inches below ground.

I do not plant Atragene Group, Tangutica Group and many of the species deep.

This is why I asked ' Red Dahlia ' which cultivars had been planted.

Also I am concerned when Red Dahlia said he/she had followed the growers instructions, were these plants purchased from a grower ?

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 21:30

One of the reasons why some clematis should be planted deep is because the deeper you plant, the more moisture will be available to the root system.

" Feet in the shade, etc. " is often spouted about clematis, that is also because more moisture should be available in shade than in the blazing sun.

If you do not plant the crown deep enough, then your plant will dry out and struggle, then you become another of the " I can't grow clematis, they get wilt " brigade.

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 17:47

Personally, I would get the fork under them and lift them, making sure to get the whole rootball, then dig the hole deeper and replant, then give them a real good soak.

Do you know which 2 cultivars they are ?

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 13:22

If you planted your Summer flowering clematis correctly you would have planted them about 6 inches deeper than they were in the pot.

Then in February you would chop them right down to the floor, to encourage new stems from below ground.


Posted: 01/02/2015 at 21:44

Yes, very true, Bob the Gardener.  Also many clematis can have slightly different coloured flowers on the same plant as the flowers mature, this is particularly noticeable on Arabella, which starts as a very deep purple then opens to a pale lilac blue, as you say difficult to photograph accurately.

Victoria, which plants have you been ' tricked ' in to buying ?


Posted: 01/02/2015 at 17:44

Night Veil is a superb member of the viticella family and is one of the plants in my National Collection of Viticellas.  Gravetye Beauty is not very floriferous, Purple Spider is an early flowering atragene, Romantika tends to get powdery mildew, nice plant, though.

Also, Etoile Violette has yellow stamens and is ideal for growing in tandem with other yellow plants.


Coffee granules

Posted: 29/01/2015 at 21:47

Apparently, or allegedly, it is illegal to put coffee grounds round plants to keep slugs away. 

It is in contravention of the EU regulations.......look it up !!!

How crazy are we getting ?

Clementis Pruning

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 14:54

Your clematis will be a tangutica or orientalis and is a Group 3, BUT, it is best unpruned until about April when you should see some new green shoots on the plant, then cut it back to about 3 ft.

Most Group 3 are chopped back almost to the ground in February, but the yellows in my experience are best treated differently.

Also, you should still have plenty of seed heads on your plant, the birds love these for lining their nests. ( try sowing a few in a zippy freezer bag with damp vermiculite, they are easy )

" If it flowers before June, do not prune ", means that the atragenes, montanas, Early Large Flowered Hybrids, should not be pruned hard back as they flower on last year's wood.

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