Need help when Spring arrives!

casi(5)February 10, 2014

Last year my DH built some very nice trellises for me as my old ones were needing to be replaced. I have about 6 Clematis. We were too late getting them installed and I never could get them to climb the new trellis correctly. What should I do to get them going in the right direction? They are all so entangled with themselves. They are about 6 or 7 year old plants. One of them is currently totally off it's trellis and blowing in the wind ( and snow). It was the only one last year that actually did do what it was supposed to do but it has come off.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

any chance you can Id them ...

some wont mind being cut to about 6 inches.. others might ...

if i did not know... i would check them weekly in late spring... and as soon as i ID'd the LOWEST live bud.... [and you never know in my z5 MI ... which it will be ... lol ] .. i would cut off everything above .... and start over ...

and then every few days during early summer... after dinner .... i would go out and train them into the trellises ...

i have tried.. tying.. gluing.. stapling.. old ugly fronds... it just ends up ugly ... and never really works ...

so rejuvenate your plants .. ...

and do keep in mind.. with no insult to the roots... they ought to go a bit wild with growth ... presuming you dont disturb such installing the trellis'

i am sure.. some clem guru will come along and declare such heresy .... so be it.. i know what i would do is easy.. and will work ...

if you dont have names.. MAYBE pix will get you an ID ...

i have no clue if there is a clem forum .... we know how to work with the plant.. but name experts might be found over there .. i dont know ... unless yours are the very, very common ones ..

good luck


    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:18PM
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I would trim them back to 2 or 3 sets of buds now or as soon as you can while the garden is still cold so you aren't compacting moist spring soil. When they start to regrow, guide them to the new trellises if needed. It may delay the blooming of any type 2 pruners, but they will bloom, and it will be fine for the type 3s as they do best hard pruned every year. You would probably not get bloom on type 1 plants this year.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:19PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

And I ask what type trellis you're talking about. Clematis are not twining vines; they cling with little tendrils. Anything much above the thickness of a pencils is too thick for the tendrils to get a good hold on.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 5:50AM
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If the new trellises are too thick, such as standard lattice, adding a large grid wire mesh or hanging strings will give the plants something to wrap the leaf stems (petioles) around.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 6:49AM
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Thanks for the advice all. I have no idea what "type" mine are....I'm sure they are common. The trellis construction pieces are not much bigger than pensils so I think they will be fine. Spring is coming eventually!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Yours are probably 2's or 3's which are the more common types in cold zones. Type 2's are large flowered and bloom in mid-May to mid-June here. In areas where they are less likely to die down to the ground, they bloom in the spring on the previous year's vines and in the fall on the current season's growth, but my growing season doesn't seem to be long enough, as none of mine have ever bloomed a second time. Type 3 bloom after that on new growth only, so cutting them back hard every year helps to encourage flowering lower on the plant. I have various ones that bloom mid-June through mid-August, and there are some that bloom later than that. I prune both my type 2's and 3's the same way since the cold kills my vines to the snow line every year, but folks in warmer areas mostly prune type 2's lightly after the spring bloom. The type 1's that are cold hardy here have a different bloom shape, and since they only bloom on last year's growth, I only prune if needed and only right after they are done blooming. All varieties will bloom unpruned, but proper pruning will make for better blooming for some.
Type 1 Clematis Stolwijk Gold
From May 25, 2011

Type 2: Guernsey Cream and HF Young
From clematis From clematis

Type 3 Betty Corning are the lighter bells and Viola is the deep purple
From June 22, 2013

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 11:32PM
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