Clematis Fall Planting

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

I've ordered 4 clematis from Brushwood. Initially I requested spring delivery, but then changed my request to late Sept because I'd read a lot of articles recommending fall planting of perennials. At the time I talked to Dan via email, and he assured me they should do fine. Now I'm nervous.

Is it ok to plant them this fall if I get it done 4-6 weeks before the average first frost? I'm in zone 7A. Or should I repot them and keep them in the house or a room off of our garage that is not usually heated unless very cold weather is predicted or we are doing something in the room.

If I do plant them now, what special things should I do rather than just put them in the ground as I have done in the past. If the consensus is that I should not plant them until spring, is there anything special I should do when I repot then?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Don't be nervous!

I'd plant them now. The ground will remain warmer than the air temperature so you should be safe. Even after a light frost (not a killing frost) the ground will retain warmth and the roots will grow.

Glad to hear you bought from Brushwood. Dan is a treasure and a great help with suggestions and advice.

Plant each one with plenty of compost and manure along with some bone meal. Too much bone meal can harm the roots so a little handful, mixed with the compost and manure, would be fine. Mulch them well (three inches of mulch) and in spring you can start giving them some Epsom Salt (one tablespoon to a gallon of lukewarm water) on a monthly basis and in spring you can start feeding them any rose or tomato fertilizer.

I only keep clem's in the house when I've bought them in February/March. You have a good amount of money invested so plant them outside where you want them to grow. If you have any doubts contact Dan, tell him your zone and he can advise you.

Which ones did you buy?

Here's Ashva (from Dan last year):

Thumbnail by pirl
Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the reassurance. I do not have a compost bin. Will it be ok to buy some commercial compost? Do you have any recommendations?

This time I bought Kaen, Kiri Te Kanawa, Bees Jubilee and Niobe. I was just notified that they have been shipped. They should be here by Friday.

Previously, I bought Westerplatte and Romantika from Brushwood, and they are my most successful clematis.The others I have came from local sources or other mail order companies that do not specialize in clematis.

Just curious, but what does the Epson Salts do?

Yours is beautiful!

This message was edited Sep 26, 2012 3:45 AM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You can buy compost or even composted manure - either will work but for your own sake, make sure the label includes the word "deodorized".

You made some lovely choices and I hope they bloom well for you. I have over 100 clematises and wish they all came from Brushwood.

Never again will I buy co-op sized plants. They just take too long to perform. Sure, they may give you a flower or two the first year but they take
much too long to look like an established garden addition.

There is one exception: By February I'm eager to watch something grow and I often buy clematises at Walmart or HD in those little green bags.
I was thrilled this year to buy two Venosa Violacea http://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=519&q=clematis+venosa+violacea+viticella&oq=clematis+venosa+violacea&gs_l=img.1.2.0j0i24l2.1766.15938.0.20156.26.8.0.18.0.1.156.796.5j3.8.0...0.0...1ac.1.V-Z1_IzLMrU and they're both in one self-watering Walmart pot and blooming very well right now. These two are just 6.5 months old.

Regarding the Epsom Salt: It encourages "new basal break" (more stems, more flowers). It's Sulfate of Magnesium and some people apply it at the base
of the plant, on the soil and water it in well. April is a good time to apply it for those of us in zone 7. At any time during the growing season if you notice
yellowing leaves then make the application of Magnesium Sulfate/Epsom Salt. Many people read the word "salt" and think of table salt but have no fear.
This is safe for plants. Do not "scratch it in" the top layer of soil. It's too easy to hit the clematis roots.

Thanks. I love to receive Brushwood's clematises and see those healthy roots as I turn over the pot to plant the clematis. Make sure you loosen any
tangled roots before you plant. Just tease them apart gently. Plant deeply, water well but not to excess*, and check them often for the first month so
you can get ahead of any problem. If your weather turns unusually wet or dry then adjust your watering habits.

*Clematises want cool, moist roots, not drenching wet. I've killed one doing that! Ignore people who tell you to drown them with water.

It's the wrong thing to do.

Thumbnail by pirl

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