clematis- repair work

I have planted three clematis vines in the back yard two years ago. First year they were doing fine and growing a bit. Second year - I was sick and was in the hospitals all summer. This year- the trellis fell apart from wind and the three plants were on the ground when I walked out early spring. I have put in a better trellis and tried to "hoist" the plants. They look ugly now with lots of 'brown spots" on leaves and very few leaves. I want to rescue these vines since they are among the few that survived my complete neglect last summer. Can I prune them and re plant in a better area of the garden with better soil? Or do I have to lift them with all the ugly leaves and all? Cincinnati- ZONE 5/6.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had 4 clematis - 2 in full sun and 2 which got sun for about 6 hours a day. They performed equally well, although the ones in partial sun had more foliage at the top because the sun hit that area first as it crested over the house. All 4 plants were gorgeous and healthy. The ones in partial sun had pretty lousy soil because my ex-wife kept removing the mulch for some unknown reason.
So, I would not move your plants unless they're in deep shade. Improve the soil with organic matter (composted cow manure, mulch, etc). Since we're headed for the hottest part of the year, I wouldn't hack away at the plant much, if at all. Get them back on their trellis and tolerate the temporary ugliness. Maybe snip off some bad leaves here & there as nicer ones grow.
By the way, I had a book about pruning from the Royal Horticultural Society. It said that clematis can be cut down to a foot or two above the ground in very early spring, or not. We tried it, and the plants were still 8 feet tall by May. Other years, we didn't touch them. Couldn't see a difference after 18 years of observation.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are 3 kinds of clematis and you prune them differently. Google will get you to pages that explain the differences. Entering "clematis pruning" for example yields the following page among others:
http://www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk/clematis.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pretty good advice here. Clematis are difficult to transplant and often resent it, so I'd leave them in place if the current conditions are suitable. FWIW, most varieties can tolerate considerable pruning during the growing season. Clematis at my nursery often get very leggy in their pots and get cut back frequently. They respond by producing copious amounts of new growth. Just keep them fed and well watered this summer and cut back gently as you see fit. I'd wait to do serious pruning until early next spring.
And I wouldn't stress too much about "proper' pruning techniques for different clematis. I grow a large number personally and they all get treated very similarly. The early blooming ones (Spring) I don't prune until they get too large, then I prune immediately after they bloom. All the rest get a hard pruning in early March, followed by their first official fertilizing of the season. And I mulch well with a good compost in spring and again in fall.
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While discussing clematis, has anyone had good luck getting Clematis florida to perennialize? Someone gave me one as a gift last month & it is cute as a button, a miniature clematis with leaves flowers the smallest I've seen, but some of the literature doesn't make it sound particularly easy to keep alive for any length of time.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

On several of the clematis groups I participate in, growing Clematis florida is described as being no different than growing any other species and that they are hardier than typically thought, but I have had no luck at all getting these beauties to survive longer than one season. Even coddled in a protected location they have consistantly not reappeared the following spring.
If someone else has any tips, I'd like to hear them also. These are not the easiest and least expensive clematis species to get hold of, either.
pam - gardengal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks. I'll try my best with it then without getting my expectations high.
-paggers
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

around the house (basement waterproofing). For at least five days, the contractors' compressor blew hot exhaust right onto a well- established clematis and burned it to a crisp. Only a few leaves remained near ground level. I cut off everything that was burnt and decided to wait till spring. It actually started to grow back! This year it looks pretty good, but not quite where it was. Next year should be fine.
I've been able to rescue some other clematis that have been equally neglected. My experience is that they will survive, though you may have to wait a year or two.
Jim Zone 6 Niagara
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.