Group 1 pruning?

Louisville, KY

What will happen if I cut spring bloomers to 5 or 6 inches after they bloom? If I wait till next winter I may forget again.

These vines are several years old and have never had their first season pruning, I just found out about the need for that. Thanks.

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You do not have to prune it. It is not mandatory. Only prune it (after flowering) if you want to try keeping it smaller.

Some grow to immense sizes.

Louisville, KY

Thank you pirl;

The reason I want to cut them back is to try to rejuvenate them. There are two varieties at the base of the trellis. They used to grow to the top of the trellis, but they have been declining for several years.

I reset them 5 or 6 inches deeper about 4 or 5 years ago, put a lot of organic matter in the planting hole, and provided shorter plants to shade the roots. I spread a tablespoonful or two of 10-10-10 before growth starts in the spring, then give them an occasional dose of water soluble plant food during the summer.

The location may not be good, they get sun off and on till about 2PM, then are shaded by the house.

I think I was wrong about the group they are in. One I think is a Nellie Moser, and I've forgot what the other is, the tags are long gone. Wayside Gardens has an article on pruning clematis, they recommend cutting them short one time to get fuller growth and more flowers. Thanks again.

Jim

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Nelly Moser is definitely a type 2, not 1. Cut her back by half when she's done blooming. They'll both enjoy a big drink of Epsom Salt. Use some hot water to dissolve the ES and then add lukewarm water to the top of your watering can. Apply a full gallon (with the one or two tablespoons of ES) to the base of the plants.

When the other one blooms please post a photo so we clematis lovers can help you identify it.

Louisville, KY

Thanks, I'll check tomorrow to see if there are any buds on the other plant. I think it only had two or three flowers last year, so it's needing some help.

When and how often should the Epsom Salt be applied? Should I continue the once a year application of a small amount of 10-10-10, and later applications of water soluble plant food?

I do appreciate your taking time to help us less informed gardeners.

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Do you recall the color? Purple, light blue, pink?

Some people do it often. I'm lucky to get it done once a year but more often won't hurt it but I wouldn't consider weekly. You can use your 10-10-10 but it would love aged manure, compost and two full inches of mulch. What kind of plant food? I don't need the name brand but what are the numbers on the container?

Only give clem's the water soluble food when they do not have buds. After they bloom, it's fine. In early spring, it's fine.

Don't forget to give it water once a week!

My pleasure, Jim.

Louisville, KY

Thank you for all the info.

I think the other clematis is purple, but my wife says I'm terrible with at naming colors. There are several buds, I'll get a picture when they open, and will give you the analysis on the plant food then.

I have to study up on how to post a picture, I see I didn't do it correctly last time.

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We will await photos so we can try and identify it for you.

You can use the "preview" feature to be sure you have the photo and it's upright, not horizontal. There is a test forum here somewhere. If I find it, I'll post a link.

Arlene

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here it is: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/test/all/

Louisville, KY

Thanks pirl

Well I guess I'm getting a reputation here for making incorrect statements. The buds I thought were on the other plant all opened up as Nellie Moser. I pulled back the shading foliage and traced the vines as best I could (They are somewhat entwined) and couldn't find a single bud on it. I'm thinking it may be time to replace it. If it should bloom I'll sure try for a picture.

The water solubles I have are 18 30 18, and 20 20 20. I'm trying to start some compost in a trash can, but not having much luck getting it started. Think I'm just going to have to build a bin where I can manage it better. I have plenty of green weeds, but I'm short on browns

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Trying to separate entwined clematises is a major job. Nelly Moser is a beauty. If the other clematis is Jackmanii it isn't due to bloom for awhile yet. Give it time. It should bloom in June - photo below. Note the "ugly ankles" - a pot of annuals would improve the look - see second photo.

Please don't leap to deleting it until you've given it a fair chance. If it does end up being Jackmanii, it wants to be cut down very low (9" to 18") in February. You could move it to another location in November - water it in well.

I'd opt for the 18-30-18.

Trash cans probably won't work as well as compost bins. The compost needs air and water. If you're really not thrilled with the idea of building the standard three compost bins (lots of work building them and maintaining them and the work involved, photos 3 & 4, in turning them isn't to be dismissed), just buy compost. We have six compost bins but that's only because we used to raise a lot of vegetables. Weeds are not good for compost. When we tried it we ended up with weed seeds in the compost despite the heat that's supposed to destroy them.

Have faith and post photos of the second clematis when it blooms.

Ask all the questions you want. You're helping others too shy to ask.

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Louisville, KY

I apologize for not keeping up, I've just been swamped, computer breakdown (other computer), mower breakdown, and water coming over the basement wall, got an interim fix on that, the others still in progress.

Yes I do intend to build a compost and mulch bin, got to get material and time for that.

When I use weeds as compost material I generally get them before they go to seed, or cut the seed heads off and put them in yard waste for the city to pick up. All smartweed goes in yard waste. In spring Creeping Charlie/Ground Ivy, and Henbit/Red Deadnettle are the baddies here, with them it doesn't really matter if I resow seeds because they are everywhere anyway.

A bit later it will be bindweed, lots of biomass there, but need to get them before they set seeds.

The purple clematis isn't Jackmanii, I have two of those a few feet away, one has been getting the wilt every year, but I think I have found out what to do about that. If it ever dries up, I'll get the chipper/vac out and vacuum up all the debris around the vine and apply mulch. I have cypress mulch for it. If there is something else I should do I'd be glad to know about it.

There is a Dr. Rupell some distance away which is doing well this year, it also has or had a purple companion which hasn't bloomed yet. They were both in flower on the same day last year. I'll keep watching. I have pictures but don"t have a resizing utility on this Linux computer and they are too big. When I get the Windows computer going again, I'll post them. Thank you for the valuable service you are doing.

Jim

Louisville, KY

Found and installed a resizing utility, so here goes. The first picture was taken just a few days ago. The 2nd and 3rd were taken 05/20/13. The purple hasn't bloomed yet but I'm still watching.

We had an unusually long spell of at or below zero F this year. I lost several plants to winterkill, a 30+ year old Hydrangea among them. I wonder if some varieties of Clematis are affected by unusual and protracted cold?

Jim

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You certainly know what you're doing with weeds and the weed seeds!

Some of us just cut any wilted stems down to the earth (or a bit below). It is best to keep the earth free of those diseased leaves so you're on the right track. I just attached two thoughts on clematis wilt and hope they help you.

Odd how coloring of clematises can vary so much with climate. Your Dr. Ruppel is much different from mine (unless that's Bee's Jubilee, which I don't have). The third photo looks just like 'The President'. Does the name ring a bell.

Here's Dr. Ruppel as it blooms here (photo #3).

We also had a very cold and snowy winter with many long stretches of very low temperatures. Many hydrangeas won't be blooming this summer but the only clematises I lost were three that were potted. Many potted daylilies were lost and one butterfly bush. All clematises that were planted did survive even if they are not blooming at the usual time.

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Louisville, KY

Thanks pirl

The advice I got on another site was to clean up all debris, and mulch to try to prevent the wilt. If wilt did occur, to cut the vine back to ground level or below. I don't recall what that site was now, printed it but don't know where I put the paper.

Thank you for the attachments on wilt, I'm glad to have the tip on the copper based fungicide, and the high K plant food.

I really don't remember what the labels were on the Clematis when I got them, they have been i n place for 12 to 15 years. I'm relying on a neighbor for identification of the Dr. Rupell, he used to be a professional landscape gardener. The color on mine is more intense than the pictures shows. The edges of the darker color are more evenly defined, and do not come as near the edge as yours does. The ID may not be correct, but it is definitely darker than the Nellie Moser.

I think my Hydrangea and all the butterfly bushes were totally wiped out, can't find any green at all on them.

I had a tree which was partially shading the wilting Jackmanii removed, we'll see if that makes any difference

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're quite welcome. Wilt can and does happen in a flash and it's almost painful to us owners when it happens.

I have used Gold Bond (men's anti fungal powder) in a big circle around the base of the clematis in the hopes it will work. So far, so good. The high K is to encourage more leaves so that should work.

So many are so close with the light edge and pink to magenta "stripe" in the center. I'd just enjoy them and not be concerned with a name. It is another Class or Group 2 so it gets the same pruning treatment as other Class 2 clem's.

Do you have new growth at the base of the hydrangeas? Many of mine look dreadful and one Butterfly Bush is definitely gone but, thankfully, it's the one that I didn't plant - just a seedling that planted itself and I never got to move it.

The clematis that did wilt on me (just one stem) wasn't in any shade and the ones I do have (probably in too much shade) do not get the wilt problem. Wilt does keep us on our toes!

This is the Lemon Chiffon that was a victim of wilt.

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Louisville, KY

Well I have a bit of good news, I checked the butterfly bushes and Hydrangea again today, two of the three larger butterfly bushes now have new growth from the root, the third I can't tell because it's surrounded by ferns and poison ivy and I'm not getting close to it without a spray wand in my hand. I'm trying to get over the worst case of poison ivy I've ever had.

The Hydrangea doesn't have any new growth that I can see. It's beginning to be covered by one of the Ipomenas. I'll give it another two or three days, and if I can't find any new growth,I'll give the Ipomena a dose of glyphosate and try to discourage them a bit.

My neighbor looked at the Clematis on the driftwood again today and repeated that it is a Dr Rupell. I suppose plant names names are a bit like the question "what was the tallest mountain on earth before Everest was discovered"? The name doesn't change the plant.

I have the Gold Bond, and may use it tomorrow, I think it should be dry enough to vacuum up the leaves and sticks around the vine. If I sprinkle the Gold Bond around then put down new mulch that should keep the spores from being splashed up by rain. Are there other ways these spores are transmitted? Next time I'm in a garden center I'll look for the copper based fungicide, if I don't find some in my leftovers here.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Good luck with the Butterfly Bush and the hydrangea. One of mine has green leaves at the bottom and today I saw one branch has a few leaves. If it doesn't improve in looks by mid-June we'll take it down to a foot tall and hope for the best.

Names only matter if you're identifying the photos for a gardening site. Otherwise just enjoy them.

Yes, the powder should help and the mulch will help. I do not know of any other way the spores are transmitted. I haven't seen any mention of it on any clematis site.

Louisville, KY

Thank you for all the help you have been, I'm learning, I hope others are too. I'll report any positive development on the plants we have discussed..

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You are very welcome. We're all here to learn and share whatever worked for us.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

My Butterfly bush died down to the roots also and I am also thankful for that. Now I can keep it trimmed down , which I did not know I could.

I have one Clem that is taking over the larger trellis and not stopping is not blooming that well. I guess I should have trimmed it back farther. Can I do that after it finishes blooming? It is the Henry that I showed you Arlene.
I think the Jacknami is going to do the same.

One that is growing out front seems to have all deformed blooms, but at least it is blooming.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Butterfly bushes need to be where we can observe them when the butterflies arrive. Two of mine don't fit the pattern and may depart.

With Henryi, you can cut it back by half after bloom.

I have to cut back my Jackmanii at the compost pile, many times during the season. One Jackmanii (not near any compost) is due for a haircut now since it's about to invade the lantern where it's growing. A third Jackmanii only gets cut back in December.

Deformed blooms are not good. Try and take a photo so we can all look at it and try to figure out what's wrong. I'd cut it back to the ground after bloom, add manure and compost and Epsom Salt water, and mulch it.

Louisville, KY

The Hydrangea has new growth!!

I'll post on the Hydrangea forum soon.

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

How wonderful. Is it at the base or along the stems?

Thanks for the good news, Jim!

Louisville, KY

The Hydrangea appears to be growing from the root. I hope to get the old wood removed and the vines sprayed tomorrow.

jackmanii is blooming, I can see the result of not pruning now that I know what to look for. The first picture is the one which doesn't wilt. I suspect the other one will give a better display if it doesn't wilt, as it's all new growth.

Both plants have had the cleanup and dusting with Gold Bond Powder. Used some decaying leaves from a distant location as a temporary mulch, thought I had bought Cypress bark mulch this spring, but can't find it, I'll get some.

Bah Humbug &%$#, I seem to have lost the image resize utility. I'll add the pictures after I find and reinstall it.

Jim

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Looking forward to the photos. If you have deer, they love ripping off the new tender growth. Hard to explain how much I dislike them.

Any nursery should carry mulch suitable to your needs. Shredded pine needles allows more air to get to the earth, which is good.

Louisville, KY

Pirl

So far no deer here, I suppose it's a bit too urban for them. The main pest here is squirrels, I can't grow corn or melons because they will just riddle them. Also have rabbits which are hard on beans, and just recently I saw the first groundhog I've ever seen here, hope that one doesn't have family nearby.

I like pine straw mulch, but don't have any pines on the place. last time I priced baled pine straw it was frightfully expensive. Thanks for the idea, I'll search Amazon and see if I can find some at a better price. Still working on the pictures, Windopws machine died so can't use Picasa.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I keep saying I am going to go over to my neighbors and gather all their pine needles , but I never get it done. Maybe this year.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Groundhogs are not good for gardeners!

I'm stunned and shocked at the prices I just saw for shredded pine needles!
http://shop.pinestraw.com/?gclid=CLrr-ZuZzL4CFe99OgodMjAAZA

Considering that you're in horse country, maybe some of the stores who provide supplies for the horses would have it or know where you could get it. We pay about $9.00 a bag for ours at a "feed store". We get from 30 to 50 bags and it lasts all year with some left over in case I get an early start on outdoor work in March. Here's the contents of a bag along with the address of the company that provides it to the store.

Marie - it's well worth the time investment and being under the pines would be cool on a warm day like today.

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Louisville, KY

Well! I don't think I'll be buying from the outfit you linked to. I did a search and found a place just over the river in New Albany, IN., which seems to have reasonable pricing. The size of the bale is not stated, but if it's near the size of a wheat straw bale it will be a good buy. I'll be visiting them the first chance I get.

http://www.earth-first.com/

http://www.earth-first.com/pdfs/Kentucky_Price_List_updated_2013.pdf

These are not great pictures, but I think you can tell which one wilts. It's hard to see aainst the green background, the tips end just above the crossbar of the arbor.

That's two Concord grape vines sharing the arbor. There are also morning glories coming up at the base, and I plan to scatter some seed of the Cardinal climber there. I Don't remember the proper name, a feathery vine with red star shaped flowers which self reseeds freely.

Jim

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Those prices were wild! The place you found is so much more reasonable.

It is rough to spot the wilt but I also have it on one clematis that decided to climb behind a wall mounted trellis. I'm not about to try and move it (thereby undoing all my rose training) so it will have to stay as is.

I have seen the Cardinal climber and it's very pretty.

Louisville, KY

Well, what's this?

There is a songle f;ower onthe vine which is companion to the one I have been calling Dr Ruppel. Can someone identify it? I traced the vine down s far as I could, it's not a branch of the one which bloomed earlier.

Ernest Markham is also blooming now.

Should the seed heads be removed?

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Louisville, KY

Sorry, was falling asleep on the previous post, Couldn't find how to edit after posting.

Jim

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Jim,

Sorry to be so late to respond but we were on Cape Cod for a week of gloriously cool weather - no AC needed!

The photos are tiny but I'll guess at either Asao or Pink Champagne. You can check them out and you're better prepared (with the bloom in front of you) to guess if it might be either of them.

No need to remove the spent blooms. They make very attractive seed heads that are so charming in the garden and it doesn't appear to ever hurt the performance of the plant in the future.

After you've posted and then wish to edit click on "edit". Each person sees it on the screen but only for their own posts.

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Louisville, KY

Lets see If I have made the picture bigger. That was the only flower on that vine this time, winter must have hit it hard.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm still leaning towards Dr. Ruppel but Pink Champagne is also a possibility. Might even be Bee's Jubilee or something I don't have and don't know.

Louisville, KY

I've been looking for the edit button, but haven't found it. Testing.

Thanks, I see it now. It's in small green print, and doesn't contrast enough with the grey background (hint to webmaster).

I have a few more pictures to post after I get them resized and loaded into the computer. That's an involved process, and I'm not up to it tonight. Mother nature has got ahead of me , and I've been playing catch-up.

This message was edited Jun 19, 2014 9:31 PM

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Louisville, KY

That was a test, nothing to do with Clematis, I looked everywhere I could think of, still no edit button. Where is it located please?

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

it should be under your name and home state to the left.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You have to click on your own post to see it and edit it. Here's the edit button:

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