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Clematis: When to start Epsom Salt?

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Forum: ClematisReplies: 4, Views: 122
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Oklahoma City, OK
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2013
7:10 PM

Post #9454087

Most of my clematis have started leafing out. When should I start giving them epsom salt? What proportions should I use? How often? What else should I give them; e.g. fertilizer?

Also, I didn't trim/prune them last fall or earlier this year in part because my friend said she never prunes her, but also because I'm never sure when or how to do it despite reading the guidelines about the different groups. Since they are already leafing out, should I just leave them alone, or what should I do? I have a few group 3's, but most of them are group 2's.
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

March 18, 2013
8:05 PM

Post #9454163

Hi SBounds, it's 1 tbs Epsom Salt per gallon of water once per month. I use composted manure and rose fertilizer here in GA. I fertilized already on February 24th, because my plants started actively growing. How much more cold weather do you have coming in OK?

For pruning:

Group 1, only prune the dead wood

Group 2, prune to 1/3 from the top, if they need to be pruned

Group 3, prune to 1-2 feet from the ground for the best performance.

Hope your clematis do well this year, this forum is a great resource for clematis growers. I've learned so much from others here. Annette
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 19, 2013
8:46 AM

Post #9454715

Cem is 100% right so follow her advice.

Here's a link to Fine Gardening's article on pruning:
Oklahoma City, OK
(Zone 7a)

March 20, 2013
9:59 AM

Post #9455863

Thanks for your advice. I'm really excited because all of the ones I bought from Brushwood last fall are leafing out, even the one I broke when I foolished moved it right after planting it. Also, one I planted late last summer that I thought I'd lost is vining and leafing out vigorously. I bought it from one of those local plant stands on the corner of a street that has been around for many years (individual owner, not a chain like Under the Sun that pops up everywhere in the spring.) It wasn't labeled as to variety, but is purple, and I think it might be a President. When it blooms, I'll post pictures, so someone can hopefully identify it.

Regarding cold weather, the informal advice; i.e., friends' grandmothers', is after Easter. I think those average freeze/frost charts show 10% risk around mid-April. However, we have a cold front coming in this weekend with predicted lows from 27 to 30, depending on which newscast you watch. Should I do anything other than pull the bark mulch up over them. That's what I've done all winter.

If I think I do need to trim some group 2's, should I only trim to the highest leaf on the vine or go ahead and trim the top 1/3 even if I lose a few leaves?


Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2013
9:27 AM

Post #9456972


The link Pirl posted above is excellent in its explanations of how, and when to prune
#1--#2--#3--Clematis. Nice illustrations as well.

Now I have to run outside in this cold weather and cut back my "Lady Betty Balfour".
Now I know she is in Group #3.

Go back and take a look at it. I copied it out...


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