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Clematis and Sweetpeas

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Victoria Plum, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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    I have two clematis growing over an arch, one on each side. They are both group three Clematis, one is a Raymond Evison Josephine Evijohill and the other is Belle of Woking. The label reads to lightly prune in spring - but how do you 'lightly prune' a clematis which is wrapped around an arch in its first year in situ?

    They are about to join at the top. Should I pinch them out when they join, or allow them to sprawl over each other?

    I also have some Montanas which are just sending up one long shoot and covering a chain link fence. Should I pinch out the top to encourage more stems?

    I'd also like to know if I should pinch out my sweet peas which have reached out the top of their supports. Can anyone advise?

    SORRY about the list of questions!! :dh:
     
  2. Sussexgardener

    Sussexgardener Gardener

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    If the Clematis are Group 3, they need to be pruned back to within a foot or so of the ground to a few healthy shoots, early Spring, otherwise you'll end up with all the flowers at the top of the arch and bare growth on the sides. As they lose their leaves in winter, it's easy to untangle them in preparation for pruning back. Well, it's what I've always done...except one that I forgot this year and now only has flowers at the top of the fence, sigh.

    Can't help re pinching out Montanas or Sweet Peas though, sorry. It sounds like it would make sense with the Montana though.
     
  3. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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    WHOOPS - I meant group 2!! Sorry :o
     
  4. Sussexgardener

    Sussexgardener Gardener

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  5. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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    Thanks Aaron,

    Hmm... I know they say a 'light prune' but I'm just not clear what that means in real terms, having not done it before. Because it is currently one or two stems winding tightly around tubes it seems a bit tricky. Do I cut back the side shoots, or cut some off of the arch?

    I guess it is one of those jobs that is easier once you've attempted it before!

    If it were a mass of stems that would be easy, but as it isn't - who knows? Maybe by the end of the season it will be a bit more messy!
     
  6. Sussexgardener

    Sussexgardener Gardener

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    Well do something otherwise you'll end up with what I have now - a Group 2 Clematis that consists of one long, slender shoot, that is incredibly top heavy although covered in flowers! It doesn't seem to have had grown any side shoots. I think next winter I'll prune it down to within two feet of the ground and see what happens. You could try that?
     
  7. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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    :hehe: Thanks for the warning - I'm wondering about pinching out the top.

    These things are never simple are they! Gardening labels never mention the possible outcomes - I guess there's not room! :)
     
  8. Rhyleysgranny

    Rhyleysgranny Gardener

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    Um is there an easy way to recognise which clematis is in what group? :cnfs:
     
  9. Victoria Plum

    Victoria Plum Gardener

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  10. ClaraLou

    ClaraLou Total Gardener

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    My neighbour used to prune back her clematis as the book recommends but she found that all this did was to ensure that all the tasty new shoots were within easy reach of the snails. So now she leaves it alone. It is a bit bare at the bottom but it still covers the side of her garden shed nicely and she grows a few perennials to disguise its bare legs.

    I don't know much about sweet peas - I've never got on with them on the rare occasions when I've tried. They seem to need loads of water and feeding to do well and even so they go scraggy at the bottom as summer wears on. Don't know about pinching out.

    I have a feeling a montana would bush out and do well almost whatever you did or didn't do to it ...
     
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