Fall Clematis Care

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I have been reading on this forum off and on this summer. There have been lots of beautiful Clematis.

From what I have been reading, one is suppose to cut the Clematis vines in the fall.

We're still having hot weather--mid 80's. It will start cooling off this month.

The only clematis I have cut down were the Group 3 ones. Should I be cutting them all back??

Also, I have a Hagley Hybrid that I would like to move. I suppose this is the time to move it??

Then, hmm, I think give each Clematis 1 gallon of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts. What's that suppose to do?

And, is there anything else I am suppose to do for the Clematis in the Fall??

I have a couple of Clematis I would like to get identified, but that's another post and another time--in the winter when there's less gardening going on.


Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I was told and have been using this. Granulated manure in the fall. Put a good hand full around each Clem. It will release the nutrients slowly into the soil. Then mulch on top of that.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Group 3 clem's, like Jackmanii, get cut to about 12" in February to early March.

Group 2 is treated differently by many people. The guidelines say to cut it back by one third to one half immediately after spring bloom. Others say to prune out only dead wood. It's your choice.

Move Hagley when it goes dormant. I'd cut it back to make moving it easier.

Epsom Salt provides magnesium and is said to promote more basal growth.

Marie is right. First give the Epsom Salt drink, then the manure, then at least 2" of mulch.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thank you for your information.

I have been reading previous posts, and I "thought" the discussion was to cut ALL of the clematis back in the fall. Did I miss-read this?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Sorry for being so late to respond but we were away.

Yes, I think you did mis-read it. Class/group 1 never gets cut back unless it needs a good trimming to keep it in bounds. Only trim it after it blooms, not summer or winter.

Class/group 2 is the large spring blooming type and can be cut back by half or a third to encourage more blooms in fall and future blooms.

Class/group 3 does need serious pruning each February/March or you'll have blooms 6 or 8 or 10' tall and very bare "legs".

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Arlene. I knew about the pruning of the 3 types of Clematis, but I "thought" I had read a "new" method of cutting back All of the Clematis in the fall. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

In the Fall Clematis thread on August 22, you wrote "Every now and then I cut them all back".
So, did that mean "all" as in all of the group 3? I have several Clematis I haven't done anything to, and I am wondering if I should cut them back even though they are not group 3? The only Clematis I have ever cut back are group 3.

Group 2 Clematis are a pruning challenge to me. So, you just cut all the vines back to about a third or half? I thought they wouldn't bloom in the fall if they were cut back. I think I am a little mixed up.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Every now and then I do get carried away and cut them back but never the class 1 clem's. Then I live to regret it.

Cut back the class 2 immediately after they bloom in spring. You'll still get your fall blooms. I cut them back by half.

Class 3 is truly a spring job but when I'm doing clean-up in late fall I will cut them back to try and get a jump on spring even if it's just 5 or 6 clematises. It should be done at least when they're dormant or February/March, probably earlier for those in warm areas.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Don't worry birder17, I still get confused as to which ones are 1,2 and 3's.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I am surprised to see my oshiomo , wrong spelling, putting out some new buds. I hope to see them open before the frost. I am guessing this cool weather is making them think it is time to bloom, or they are just loving this cool weather.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I think they loved the warmer weather and that's when they formed the buds but I'll take clematis blooms no matter when they want to show up. My new Florida Sieboldii is in it's very first bloom right now.

Thumbnail by pirl
Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I am with you.. I will take any kind of bloom now...lol But I know this weather is going to be short lived. Still need to bring in the tropicals and dig what bulbs I want to try and save.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's a great time for hard work in the garden with the cooler temperatures. Last night I stayed out, with the lights on, until 7:30 and loved it.

I did bring in one big container of caladiums and many coleuses...still have more to go.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

My canna,s are still blooming. so are the roses. By this time before , I am sure, I was digging things up and moving them. But so much is still blooming. I am back to work, ugh, so my time is limited again as to what I can get done in good weather.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My one lonely canna is in bloom now and roses will continue blooming into mid to late December. Thank God for dahlias and a few clematises to bring color on these gloomy days.

At least you're back working for the winter and didn't miss out on summer!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, temps are wonderful. We're getting in the low to mid 80's through the middle of the day, but cools off very nicely in the evenings.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're obviously happy with the 80's while I work well while it's in the 60's so we're both happy!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, actually, I'll take both! I would much rather have on shorts and a t-shirt than a heavy coat any day. So, if it's 80 something, I'll take it! Usually we have lots of humidity--same as my son in Florida. (What's the Deal?) Right now, we have low humidity. So, when the thermometer says 83 it's actually 83 not 93.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Humidity drives me indoors faster than the heat.

I save the warm clothes for days in the 40's. I even prefer the 40's over the 80's.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, on the humidity. It's the worst. 40's vs 80's hmmm, I think I'll take the 80's!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You got it. You get to keep the 80's. I'll pass.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Okey dokey! :) It's quite humid here today--getting rain off and on. We're suppose to get a cold front move in after the rain--but is to warm up again next week.

I'm still planting a few flowers-mostly Salvia 'Snow Hill' and Salvia 'Blue Hill'. The latter is a really pretty color of blue--periwinkle. Also, tidying up gardens and getting plants ready to move back inside.

I have one Clematis that literally blooms all summer. I am stunned. It's up by the mailbox, in lousy dirt (lots of clay and rock that the builders left years ago. I don't remember what the name of it is, but I think it is Durandi. It has had very little extra water, no mulch (bad), and on a slope. I will take a picture of it tomorrow and see if you an ID it.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I have two of my clematis trying to give the last breath to bloom before the frost. One is Madam Julia and Daniel Deronda. Is it to late to use the epsom salt and then cover them with mulch for the winter.?? Thanks. Etelka

Thumbnail by kiseta Thumbnail by kiseta Thumbnail by kiseta
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Since Epsom Salt encourages growth I think it's better saved for early spring. You wouldn't want to have new growth injured by the cold/snow/ice of winter.

I just spotted a bloom on Omoshiro yesterday. I'm always happy to see any clematis blooms. Venosa Violacea has been blooming for quite awhile now.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Thank you Arlene, I will not use ES, but gather some pine straw. Greetings to hobby and puppy. Etelka

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're very welcome, Etelka. They'd love the pine straw! Smitty sends kisses back to you.

He won't take the M & M from my knee until I tell him, "Okay".

Thumbnail by pirl
Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

some males are trainable more then others. Love the picture. Etelka

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Today I moved Nellie Moser from full sun to a somewhat shadier spot so her blooms wouldn't fade so much. I was able to get the root ball up intact, so she'll hardly know she was re-located. I added granulated manure, a rooting aid, lots of water and mulch.

Next: Venosa Violacea, going near where Nellie was.

My 2 year old Asao didn't bloom this year. It also seemed to stop growing at some point during the summer. It gets good morning sun, then intermittent shade for most of the rest of the day. Is this one of the more reluctant, slower growing ones? Should I just be patient? Or do you think more sun would make a big difference?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Nelly will fade even if you had her in all shade. It's normal for clematises, Japanese irises and many other plants. The color on day 1 is not the same as subsequent days.

Venosa doesn't change drastically so it should do well.

I don't have Asao anymore. Try feeding it well in spring - compost, manure, ES. More sun is always a good option. Do it if possible and move it as it's entering dormancy or in early spring before growth begins.

Thumbnail by pirl
(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the tips. I was wishing Asao would like it where I have it near a patio, so we could appreciate the fragrance, but I guess that is not to be.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Check the pH where the one near the patio grows. Then check the pH of where you want it to bloom. See if there's any big difference.

You could also check the pH where it is now. Might give you a better idea of what it wants.

I've always added a chunk of cement (old or new) to help combat acidity and yet Fine Gardening says it's not true that they want a sweet soil. You get to decide how it works for yourself.

The chunk of cement is on the right in this photo.

Thumbnail by pirl
Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I trimmed some of the clematis, noticed after two weeks, my Ruutel is blooming, and it is full of buds, hope it stay warm enough to let them all bloom.

Thumbnail by kiseta
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I also cut some back. When they get so dried up looking I can't stand it.

Yours are looking good, Etelka. They'll still bloom even if it cools down so look forward to the blooms. I've even had Henryi blooming in the snow.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

What neat happenings with clematis. I've had Nellie Moser bloom in the fall. The only one I have now that's blooming is Durandi. Having Henri bloom in the snow!! What a treat!

I have a Clematis Rooguchi that I have on an Oblisk. Rooguchi is a very strong clematis--crawls all over the nice Oblisk. It's not tall enough and totally covers the poor thing. It looks awful, so I'm cutting it down. I've never done that before--always look at the pathetic vine all winter. It's a group 3 so should be fine. I need to move it.

Worked yesterday in the garden. It was so pleasant. I didn't want to come indoors.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

If Nelly Moser has bloomed in fall for me I didn't get a photo. Generally it's from May to July.

My Rooguchi has loads of stems but I keep missing the blooms. It needs a better spot.

Our obelisk is 5' tall and is host to Blue Moon, Doctor Ruppel and Ashva along with an old HF Young. It's nice when they take turns blooming on top.

It's so nice when we don't want to come back inside!

Thumbnail by pirl
Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I think I read this last post and thought I would write latter and then forgot.
The obelisk with all the clematis blooms are beautiful.

I have been doing research on "Granulated Manure". I believe it is pelleted manure??
And, where do you get this?

I just finished planting the last perennials left in pots about 10 days ago. Then came the very cold weather. I haven't finished mulching everything either. I will finish when we have a few warm winter days.
Where does the time go?

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Espoma is the brand, they also make Plantone, Hollytone, etc. The manure granules are larger than the fertilizer ones, and as just easy to add to a hole or broadcast. Also, there is no odor when dry.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks.

(Zone 4b)

'pirl', that is a gorgeous picture. Thanks for posting it.....made my day.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Rouge. That obelisk, which my husband made, is great for showing off clem's.

(Zone 9b)

I love that photo too, Arlene. I was hoping to pick it for Bloom of the Day so I looked at the PF entries of Blue Moon, Doctor Ruppel and Ashva and HF Young.hoping to find it. I couldn't find a Blue Moon entry in the PFs and didn't see the photo in the entries of the others either. I guess you did not post it in PFs. But it sure is a pretty picture!

Your husband sure does nice work!

Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.
BACK TO TOP