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Clematis Armandii - Pruning

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Freddy, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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    Hello chums :)
    I planted one of these late last year up against the pergola. The ‘leaders have now reached the ‘roof’ and almost reached the optimum length. Is it just a case of pinching out?
    Cheers...Freddy.
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    No, not quite Freddie :)
    It is such a vigorous plant.....a thug albeit a handsome one....and pinching it out is like flicking an aggressive dog on the nose. Ineffective :sad:
    Cut wayward stems quite hard back and even those that have reached the top. It is a job for shears perhaps depending on how strongly your plant has grown. It will grow fast and hard again now to exceed the size it is now. Here it is on a big wall .......10’ wide at least and as much high....and secured with wires. After 3 years it is way over the top of the wall which is fine cos space is there
    Don’t be nervous of pruning back...Armandii is a toughie :) Superb plant in the right place :)
     
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    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      Don't feel that you have to savage it, @Freddy :whistle: My experience of C.armandii in the UK was totally different to the above. Much depends on whether you want it to stay as a column or you intend to fan the stems out to create a living screen. If you've got some sort of support between the pillars of the pergola, then by all means cut back the stems to encourage growth lower down. If this growth is encouraged to grow in a fan shape, you'll get flowers all over.
      If you're intending to keep the plant narrow you might have to resign yourself to letting it go over the roof :) (and back down the other side :heehee:).
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        DD566506-8A60-4707-91DD-1EC2FD779C47.jpeg I would suggest you see how it grows then Freddie. You will soon get an idea of its growth rate where you are ....at least you know you can prune as hard as you like without damaging it. :) Or affecting its flowering......this wall was a mass of white flowers from top to bottom earlier in the year
        This is mine in its third season after being cut back....the wall, as already said, is 10’ high and more wide. Pinching back would be pointless.
        Grown as a column it would soon overwhelm its support if not drastically controlled in my opinion
        Note though, this is a very heavy climber. Strong supports essential. Any shed/pergola it covers needs to be sturdy too!
        Doesn’t need to be “savaged”.....I have never done anything other than cut back anything proportionately. Although I used secateurs here, shears would not be an over reaction to control Armandii
         
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          Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
        • Freddy

          Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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          Just to put things into perspective...


          E8C40BB0-3FBB-4789-B8D6-973FD1AE9AE5.jpeg36B42B2E-D2D4-4337-8A62-9144AA682050.jpeg

          I want it to at least cover the area between the uprights. If it makes its way further back, that’s fine too, but as you go back, it does become more shaded. At the moment there are three ‘leaders’, which doesn’t really show up very well in the (poor) pics. I’ll let them grow another foot or two before pinching out. I just didn’t want to do the wrong thing :)
           
          Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Ok Freddie.

          I would lower those leaders a tad, space them out and tie them in. No need to cut or pinch anything out on yours yet....(early growth is not too vigorous, then it takes off big time)...then let new leaders grow from them. You will be surprised by the amount of growth even this summer.

          Did you know, by the way, that many Armandii varieties are nicely scented in early spring?

          I have planted and grown many Armandii over the years even growing them up trees. Don’t worry, you can’t really do the wrong thing.

          I am a great believer in pinching most everything but with Armandii I don’t think it makes a jot of a difference. A very forgiving, robust and energetic plant....super leathery evergreen foliage, nice autumn and summer colours on it too and delicious flowers.

          Without over thinking it, just place your main stems where you want them and continue to do this during the growing season :)

          That shearing? You will know what I mean in a year or two I think :)
           
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          • Freddy

            Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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            Righto @Verdun . I’m a little nervous about trying to re-route it as I notice they seem to snap easily, but I’ll give it a go :thumbsup: I know about the scent as it was plastered in flowers earlier on this year, a stunning display even though the plant was only 2-3ft tall.
             
          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Yep, stems are brittle so gentle does it. If any snap, still tie down or space out what’s left. :)
             
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