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A few clematis questions for a young beginner...

Printed From: British Clematis Society Forum
Category: Clematis
Forum Name: Postings
Forum Discription: General chat and help about anything Clematis
Printed Date: 20 Oct 2018 at 3:09am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.06 -

Topic: A few clematis questions for a young beginner...
Posted By: joeyvicks
Subject: A few clematis questions for a young beginner...
Date Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 8:35pm
Hi folks,

Im a 26 year old newbie gardener and started with a little clematis planting in march.

I planted two montanas in containers either side of an archway to grow over it and one either side to grow up trellis panels. These are doing great and are now well above the height of the arch and the trellis growers are getting there (these were planted a little after those on the arch)

I also planted two armandii against my garage wall growing up some plastic mesh netting. These began like a house on fire growing to about 5ft in no time but have since took a turn for the worse and now one of them is pretty much gone (leaves falling off, browning, curling and generally looking very bad) and the other has not grown any for ages and is deteriating.

What is the best thing I can do with them? (Apologies for the essay)

Posted By: joeyvicks
Date Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 8:47pm
I should add to the above it is on a north facing wall in pretty heavy clay. I was advised by the man at the garden centre that it would be fine in this location but having read various forums I now tend to be a little concerned. I did notice a couple of weeks ago a number of greenfly on them so have given them two good sprayings with fairy liquid and water mix

Posted By: Nunn00123
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 8:53am
I would not grow montanas in pots as they are vigorous and need to put down an extensive root run. They could have already filled the pots with roots and have sucked all the goodness out of what little soil remains. Also they will need copious amounts of water during hot dry conditions and may need to be watered two or three times a day, combining with a liquid feed such as Chempac. These plants will normally thrive best if planted in the garden, as winter cold could lead to frosting of your montanas as they are not the hardiest of plants.
North facing clay soil as you have found out is not the best position for armandii. In fact the opposite position and soil type is likely to suit this plant, as it will thrive in a warm sheltered spot in good quality loamy soil that is reasonably well drained. Also watering is important in the first growing season giving a gallon of water a week to soil planted clematis. I would normally considder a Clematis machropetala as being suitable for a north facing position, but steps need to be taken to improve the clay soil by adding copious amount of organic matter and gravel.
Best of luck

Posted By: joeyvicks
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 8:21pm
Unfortunately Roy it's too late with the montanas as they've totally covered and archway now. With regards the armandii I'll dig them out and take them back to the garden centre and demand a refund as I was told by a member of their staff that they would be fine in this position. And at £12 each they aren't cheap!

Posted By: yaku
Date Posted: 23 Jun 2011 at 11:21am

Originally posted by Nunn00123

Hi, North facing clay soil as you have found out is not the best position for armandii.


My experience with Cl. armandii is it do well here in a shady (north) position (here it's in a south) even with  trees close by to stop light from back in the summer, the clay need to be replaced totally, no clematis like clay! So away from the Northerly position I totally agree with Roy.

(used to have a 'Snowdrift' (the real thing) climbing a 12m tree, it was flowering equal well on south and north as well as east and west , and over the top of the tree)

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