The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

United Kingdom Gb

i have just bought a clematis piilu and want to plant it next to a large tree trunk and train it around it.any advice?



Yes - don't plant less than a foot away from the tree, more if the tree is still alive, and you will need to put some kind of support round the tree trunk for the clematis to cling to - something like clematis mesh.

16 Jun, 2011


It is one of the smaller varieties, and in prune code 2. Prune down to 30cm high in early spring to encourage brancing, down to 1 metre in the second year's early spring.

16 Jun, 2011


hmm, interesting instructions there, Jonathan - I don't agree. This is one I wouldn't prune at all unless it was thin and weedy - pruning in winter/early spring means you lose the earlier, double flowers and only get the later, smaller ones. Recommended pruning is just a light tidy up in March, nipping off any obviously dead bits.

16 Jun, 2011


Ah, now there is a funny thing. I myself have Clematis Piilu. I simply wrote off the instructions for pruning from the label which came with it. Whilst doing so I thought to myself, there is a more than 50% chance that Bamboo will be the first to reply, and disagreeing! I was right. How did I know that? (Either you can't trust experienced gardeners these days, or you can't trust plant labels). Buy the way, the plant and the label are from Crocus. One of their clematis labels for a different clematis variety said on it to spray them preventaively for mildew. GOY members disagreed. Are Crocus just 'bad' at label advice? Over to you ...

16 Jun, 2011


It's not just 'Crocus'!...this highlights the dilemmas we amateur gardeners often have...the instructions on the labels v the books, what we've learned in life and/or the professionals...

...perhaps the professionals who spend time gardening and not writing books are the ones to ask, and by that I mean people like you, Bamboo (apologies if you have written books, lol!)...but...unfortunately, by then, the plant may have been killed by following the advice on the label!

(Also, I have to add that if the plant has been raised in a country which is not English speaking...I no longer completely trust their translation of said instructions...absolutely no offence intended!)

16 Jun, 2011


I wondered if that's where you got that advice, Jonathan - however, I suspect that advice is only meant for the first 2 years, if you get my drift - what they're trying to do is get you to cut the plant back to encourage lots of stems from the base. Certainly giving it the treatment they describe may well have that effect, but I suspect most of us would rather have the flowers, lol! The source of the pruning advice I gave is from the Clematis Society.
I think some advice printed with plants is poor, some is incorrect and some is simply incomplete - there's only so much info you can put on a label, after all, so explaining the whole picture on there wouldn't be possible.

17 Jun, 2011


That makes a lot of sense Bamboo. That is very helpful. Much thanks. I've made a note of your instructions and will go carefully with those secateurs.

18 Jun, 2011


The advice on your label is not as bad as someone else's purchase of a Dr. Ruppel clematis described as 'evergreen'... now that's totally incorrect.

18 Jun, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?