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Clematis Cirrhosa not flowering

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My Clematis Cirrhosa is about two years old (I think). It could possibly be one and a half years old. I had earnestly hoped that it would flower for me this winter, but it hasn't. It is starting to make spring growth about now. I have this week pruned it by cutting just four of its dozen or so woody stems down to about 60cm from the ground, because I am hoping it will thus fill out a bit all up the trellis itself, rather than doing as it is doing,- foliaging almost entirely at the top only.
Please can anyone tell me how to get this precious and beloved plant to flower for me? I'd be really so grateful. Best wishes (and big "Hello") from new member, JONATHAN. I garden with a very severe disability.




Hi Jonathan and welcome to GOY!

Why did you prune your C.cirrhosa? They are not meant to be pruned at all. I have a lot of Clematis and over the last two/three weeks, I've been round pruning the ones that DO have to be cut back, and feeding ALL of them with blood, fish and bone,

I think that's your next step - mulch its base with compost and give it a feed. It still might give you a few flowers yet. Two of my three cirrhosas still have buds on them.

Otherwise you'll have to be patient, I'm afraid, until next autumn/winter.

11 Mar, 2009


Hi There, Thank you so much for replying. I have recently fed my Clematis Cirrhosa with slow release granules, Osmocote. Hopefully it will now be well nourished throughout the whole growing season.
The reason I have recently pruned just a few of the stems of my clematis is because, as you can see from my photo, it has grown straight to the top of the trellis, and is covering the top part of the trellis with plenty of vegetation. The lower part and half way up part of the trellis however, is just rather bare. I am hoping that having cut a few stems lower down as I have (about 60cm from the ground), some new growth will come from those cut stems, thus enabling the plant to 'fan out' and 'fill in' on the trellis itself, thus providing me with a nice 'green screen', sheltering my patio door from the wind all the better and looking more attractive too. Do you think I've got this right? It seemed to me a logical thing to do, although as you point out, this type of clematis is not normally meant to be pruned at all.
You seem a very keen clematis person. Do you reckon clematis also just need to mature their wood up for a few years before they are ready to do their first flowering?
With kindest regards, JONATHAN HALES

12 Mar, 2009


Yes, Jonathan, I'm quite sure that's true, with these C. cirrhosas and C. armandii in particular. I didn't get any flowers at all the first year they went in.

I dont think that your strategy will work, sadly. They do like to make lots of growth at the top, at least, that's what mine do. It might be better to grow something else to hide the stems.

I do feed all mine more than once a season - the evergreens back in the autumn and again in late winter, the others get fed monthly through spring and summer. Probably because I use b, f & b to begin with (or rotted manure if possible!) then a liquid feed.

12 Mar, 2009

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