Society Growing In Print Events Gardens Profiles Help
Home PageMembers SectionJoiningNext EventSeed ExchangeAsk a QuestionSite Maphenryi var. moriiAvalancheAvalancheAvalanche
henryi var. moriiAvalancheAvalancheAvalanche
Q&A - Flowers
This section is based on an article that appeared in a recent BCS Journal. It will be updated from time to time as new areas of interest arise. If you have any questions about looking after clematis, please feel free to e-mail us and we will arrange for them to be answered for you by one of our advisory panel.

We do this on the understanding that we may publish the question and answer at a later date without, of course, disclosing your name.
Drooping buds of clematis
Clematis in flower arrangements
Clematis 'W.E.Gladstone'
Clematis 'Ruby Glow' - not so new!
Scented clematis
Bloom size on C. 'Arctic Queen'

In early May, all of a sudden some healthy and plump buds on my C. 'H.F.Young' and 'Dawn' drooped and appeared very limp. I examined the stems carrying the buds and there was no sign of wilt or damage by slugs and snails. Please give me reasons for the behaviour of the buds. How can I prevent this?

From my observations, sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity seem to cause the buds to droop in some varieties of clematis. There is very little one can do to prevent this.

Top of page

Could you please recommend four or five clematis flowers which will be good in flower arrangements? What precautions should I take when cutting clematis flowers for flower arrangements? How can I ensure that cut flowers of clematis from my garden will last as long as possible with other flowers?

The following clematis have been chosen because they are readily available, have good colour, but in the main possess strong stems and good lasting qualities - up to four or five days after cutting. C. × durandii, C. texensis 'Duchess of Albany', C. heracleifolia 'Wyevale', C. 'Gillian Blades' and C. 'Dawn'.

Precautions to be taken when cutting the flowers: cut only early in the morning or evening. Select only the blooms in good condition growing on strong and healthy stems. Use flowers which are not fully open, as they will unfurl their sepals (tepals) gradually after cutting and placing them in water. Always use a pair of sharp secateurs or scissors and make a clean cut. Conditioning: Remove the foliage from the flower stems ( petioles or stalks). Light a candle, recut stems of chosen flowers and hold each of the stalks over the candle flame for about 10 seconds and stand in tepid water up to about half height of stem. When sealing the stems make sure to hold them horizontally so that the flame only touches the new cut and does not affect the blossom. Allow flowers time for a long drink before using. Over night is ideal.

Lasting qualities: There is no certainty as to the lasting qualities of clematis or any cut flowers. The more care taken in selection, cutting and conditioning, the better the chance that they will last longer. However, there are many other extraneous factors which will influence the time they last in an arrangement, most notable being, the environment, central heating, weather and day to day care and attention to the arrangement.

Top of page

Who introduced Clematis 'W.E.Gladstone'?

Noble of Sunningdale in 1881. It received a 1st class certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Top of page

I saw an advertisement in the June issue of a popular gardening magazine which stated that C. 'Ruby Glow' is a new variety/ newly introduced. Is this information correct? I would like to know more about this clematis.

Clematis 'Ruby Glow', a Canadian variety was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1972, by Jim Fisk of Fisk's Clematis Nursery, Westleton, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3AJ UK. 'Ruby Glow' (Lanuginosa group) grows to a height of 2 - 2.5 m ( 6 - 8 ft), and has a long flowering period from May to September. The flowers are glowing rosy-purple with pale stamens, 15 -20 cm (6 - 8 in) in diameter. Pruning is optional.

Top of page

Are there many scented clematis?

Not many clematis are strongly scented! Try the following: C. montana 'Tetrarose', C. armandii, C. x aromatica, C. cirrhosa, C. heracleifolia and its cultivars 'Wyevale', 'Sander', C. flammula, C. integrifolia etc.

Why are my C. 'Arctic Queen' blooms so much smaller than those on your display plant?

Display plants are more mature and probably larger than yours and are grown with very special care under glitches conditions. On the other hand, your plant is subjected to natural elements, such as wind and wet, in the open garden. Regular watering and feeding, as well as shelter from strong winds, will help your plant to produce good blooms also.

                       | Top of Page | Home Page |   © 2007 British Clematis Society