Has anyone grown Clematis from bare root purchases?

Natick, MA

I bought my first clematis via email and received one of those "twigs" in a tiny pot. Planted it last fall and am hoping it did well over the winter.

I could not resist buying a bare root at a local chain store and am wondering if any of you have planted a bare root clematis, how it did, and how you planted it. As you can see, I'm new to clematis, have always admired their beauty, but my one past experience didnt go well...I have read/learned more in the past year and hoping that knowledge will pay off :)

I potted my bare root clem inside to give it a chance in the warm soil. It is growing and probably 9+" tall with a couple nodes and leaves starting now. It will be another month and a half before last frost for my zone; At that time I understand I should plant it deep (with the exposed nodes showing and trim the top so that it encourages branching?

Is that right? Any more suggestions to help me get this off to a good start. I'm assuming it will not bloom this year..it is by the way, Venosa Violacea

THANKS in advance for any helpful input!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here's the two Venosa Violacea I purchased from Walmart a few years ago. They were typically packaged in a green bag with no growth to be noticed. From the start I planted them deep, trimmed back a few times (to encourage a fuller plant) and they're glorious. Well worth the minor expense.

I grew them at a very sunny window, indoors, and put them out, after hardening them off, in late May.

Thumbnail by pirl
Natick, MA

Hi Pirl,

When did yours bloom? Not first year I'm guessing?

Bought mine same place.....early when they first put them out. First one had 3 sprouting so I didn't want it to rot in small green bag, so I left it open to air, circumstances happened and I couldn't do anything with it for 3 weeks, never thought it would totally dry out....found it dead and dry. I went and bought another and potted both including the "dead one"....figured I had nothing to lose. Both are growing and I'll have to move them to a sunnier window, if the sun ever comes out--haha--its raining for the next 6 days! Those April showers better bring plenty of May flowers :-)


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My photo was missing the dates, sorry. Here's the photo collage with the dates.

I planted them indoors on 3/9 and my first bloom was 5/14 of the same year. Once outside it bloomed constantly.

Sometimes life does get in the way of our gardening plans. I'm so glad they both sprouted for you. I've learned to always plant them indoors when I buy from any big box store. They love warmth so (if possible) put your plant on a saucer and under any normal lamp (that's on for 8 to 10 hours a day) on a bureau and you'll be surprised at how well they grow. The second photo shows a coleus I grew under an ordinary light, probably 60 Watts, and it did very well.

This is not the week to get a sunburn!

Thumbnail by pirl Thumbnail by pirl
Natick, MA

Wow, what a great progression shown in your collage. I love to take photos of my yard and gardens and they are great to look back on and see the progress of the changes and what is blooming when, and what has grown from something small to something really sizeable/blooming! I'm thrilled your clem

A very smart DG friend suggested I should plant my bare roots inside to get them started as spring soil is still pretty cold for great roots...not to mention when I bought them in March, we still had 2+ feet of snow on the ground; it JUST melted last week. I bought a bunch of bare roots, bulbs, rhizomes, etc. at Walmart and another local chain store. I started a huge garden project in my mostly back yard, tearing up grass and making garden beds, and doing a large amount of planting last spring-fall....I WS'd for the first time this winter and awaiting germination there -- still too early here -- and am loving seeing my seedlings indoors and all the planted bare roots, etc. growing so I'm getting some "garden fix" which is sorely needed with our LONG snowy winter :)

THANKS so much for sharing Pirl! Your coleus looks great too! Those are next on my list to get going inside!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Without photos the winter would have been even worse than it was, Val.

The clem's can handle the cool soil but the blooms thrill me, especially indoors. What a treat.

It's so much fun to watch plants grow. I can't imagine living without growing something!

Natick, MA

I'm with you! :) Planting bare roots, etc. and seeds this winter has been fun...always something new coming up or getting bigger...My kind of entertainment - LOL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Same here.

Willis, TX(Zone 8b)

Bareroots are better planted in a pot and allowed to have the roots grow and establish before putting out in the garden IMHO

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I bought them about 4 or 5 years ago, these pathetic little plants. They seemed to take so long to take hold and looked lifeless for about 2 years. Lucky for me I had encouragement from Pirl. Despite the horrible winter, they are about the strongest plants in the garden and are growing on the trellises with great promise.

Natick, MA

I did pot up mine...they are growing well. :-)

Athens, PA

I have bought several and with babying them and potting them into gallon pots and then healing them in for the winter, they have thrived for me. They do require a certain amount of babying.

I do have a few ordered in a co op and I expect them to be tiny and to be babied the first year or so. With babying, they can turn into gorgeous plants.

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