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Clematis Confusion

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Cricket on February 13, 2005 04:11 AM
Last spring I purchased a "The President" clematis of the pruning group A. Does this mean it blooms on new or old growth? I didn't prune it last year but the quickly swelling leaf buds are reminding me that if I should prune it maybe sooner is better than later?

I read the info on pruning clematis on THG but am still confused! [nutz]
by obywan59 on February 13, 2005 06:00 AM
My info says The President is in group 3 which means it blooms both on new shoots and older stems at different times during the year.

The easiest way to prune this group is to cut the vines back severely every few years, thus only sacrificing the early blooms once out of every 3 or 4 years.

You can also divide the plant in half, and severely prune each half in alternate years.

A third way to prune them is to thin out lightly and disentangle stems before growth begins, then go over the plants again after the earliest flowers fade, severely shortening the stems that have borne those flowers. This method would be a yearly pruning.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Cricket on February 13, 2005 06:37 AM
Thank, Terry! [thumb] That's the best information I've received yet. My confusion stemmed from some people suggesting it needs severe pruning while others telling me to only prune old flowers.
by jogger on February 13, 2005 07:41 PM
Terry l have The President, l prune it every year, no problem. Cricket go with terry's advice.
Will say it is a beauty.

Doreen.

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by Barb Illinois Zone 5 on February 14, 2005 04:58 AM
Okay, Cricket, here I am to confuse the issue, [dunno] lol.
AHS Encyclopedia of Garden Plants...
The President (Clematis Group 2) Free flowering, early, large flowering climber bearing single, rich purple flowers 4-6" across with silver undersides and red anthers in early summer.
Clematis Group 2 - bear flowers in late Spring and early Summer on sideshoots arising from the previous year's growth, and in mid to late summer on the current year's growth. (There's more about leaves, etc.)

Going by this info, I'd suggest leaving pruning until after the first flush of bloom (which will come from the previous year's growth); then prune the stragglers and for shape when blooming slows down (because it should bloom again on the current year's growth). That way you get the best of both blooms.
I'd imagine you know that while clematis prefer full sun they do like their roots protected by a mulch or groundcover; that keeps the roots from drying out and overheating.

Hope this doesn't confuse the issue [Roll Eyes]
Barb, Zone 5

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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intent of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,
"WHOO HOO! WHAT A RIDE!"
by Cricket on February 14, 2005 07:32 AM
Thanks, guys, for all the advice! [wayey]

I think I'll leave it until after the first bloom then prune it. Last year I just wanted to observe what would happen - I didn't get many blooms the second time round, so pruning might give me more flowers.

And Barb, the clematis is in a large pot set in a southern exposure, with its roots sheltered by a miniature rose, sedum groundcover, and lamb's ear which I now can't remove so keep cutting it back.

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