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dividing/moving clematis

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  • dividing/moving clematis

    I have a late-blooming species clematis that I need to move. It's about 10 years old, living in what has now become poor, dry soil, and it's been rapidly declining for the last few years. I doubt it will bloom at all this year and can't remember whether or not it actually bloomed last year or the year before either. It's looking pretty pathetic. I have a much better place to put it and would like to rescue it and give it the rest of the summer to settle in. I live in a zone 4/5 area that doesn't suffer from summer heat, so I'm not worried about moving it now. I break rules all the time and get away with it.

    However, I don't know what size rootball to expect and I want to be very careful when I dig it up. It has never spread, so I'm thinking it might be relatively compact. I also plan to move a small Jackmani that's not all that happy with its location either when it's finished blooming and had a bit of a rest. It's small and only has a few small and somewhat pale blooms on it right now. Again, poor soil, but not the worst. How large does a Jackmani rootball get? This one will be small, but I'd like to know how big it might be someday.

    Does anyone here know about this sort of thing or know where I might find the answers? I would also really like to find a place with identifiable photos of the multitude of clematis varieties that would tell me what their names are, whether they have any special needs, likes, or dislikes, and how/when to prune them. I find it a bit confusing.

    Lastly, I have a late-flowering clematis (3 years old, name unknown) planted in a whiskey barrel. It's so happy and lush that I can barely keep up with the training. There are shoots galore and it's quite a tangled mass at the base. I'd like to share it with a friend and don't know how to or if I can divide it. I'm new to Clematis and have no experience with stem cuttings and that sort of thing. I live in Colorado, altitude 7,500 ft., where the humidity is very low and the growing season short, so I'm dubious, from what I've read. Could I get new plants from the shoots coming up all around the rim of the barrel? Do they have small roots of their own?

    Thank you for listening and for any and all observations or advice.

  • #2
    Hi Weeditandreap,

    I love your name!* :)*

    Moving clematis is risky and tricky at best.* Most sites recommend to plant a new one and forget about moving them.* I moved a Jackmanii twice before I knew better and it's never really done well.* It's been in the same place for 5 years now and is just starting to fill out.* You might want to consider taking cuttings for insurance and then attempt moving it.* I have several sites for you to refer to. Take a look here for moving a clematis.* All your transplanting questions should be answered here.

    Here's how to take cuttings.

    You mentioned that you have one in a container that you would like to share with a friend.* You might want to GENTLY dig down to see if it has rooted where you might be able to separate it.* If not, consider taking cuttings.

    Clematis like lots of organic material in the soil so I would suggest adding lots of compost to the entire planting area.* After all, you only get the one chance to amend the soil when you plant these beauties.

    Here's info on the different pruning groups.

    For id of your plants you could use these sites.