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Clematis Not Blooming

You chose your clematis for its showy flowers, so it is at the very least disappointing when it fails to bloom. This is a guide about clematis not blooming.

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May 22, 2013 Flag
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I've had this clematis for eight years and it has always grown and flowered beautifully every year, but this year it has grown very tall and has loads of beautiful leaves, but is not budding. I fertilized it the beginning of spring. What is happening to it?

By Peggy C

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May 27, 20130 found this helpful

Maybe your clematis has enjoyed the fertilizer too much and will produce only foliage this year. You should use rose-tree fertilizer before spring and after summer. To help your clematis produce more flowers next year just prune it.

Pruning time depends on the type of clematis. Varieties with small flowers blooming in winter and spring (cirrhosa, armandii, alpina and macropetala) will be pruned after flowering. For others, prune late winter cutting back one or two older branches to 30-40 cm. It should keep your clematis vigorous and floriferous.

Clematis armandii and montana can be pruned every two to four years by cutting all its branches at 40 cm from the ground just after flowering. I know it feels hard to cut back a beautiful clematis but it really helps the plant. I have a 3 years old Clematis Armandii. It had only 2 branches and nearly died this winter after spending a whole week covered with snow just when it had started flowering. Its bigger branch was broken accidently and in one week its started 2 new branches from its foot so that this accidental pruning has made it produce more branches in one week than it did in 3 years and the general shape of the plant will be much nicer too!

Hope this helps! Catherine

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September 18, 2008 Flag
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How long before clematis starts blooming? I planted from a gallon container.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Mike from Mercier, Qc.,Canada


Hi Mike,

Clematis can take a year or two to bloom after first being planted, and will require at least several more years before reaching full maturity. A lot depends on the age and health of the plant you purchased, the growing conditions you provide for it, and how fast it's able to establish roots after being planted. As the old adage goes, the first year perennials sleep, the second they creep, the third they leap. It sounds a bit corny, but it's true!

Expect your clematis to need a minimum of one to two seasons of "settling in" before you see blooms. During the first year (while it "sleeps"), the plant will direct the majority of its energy into establishing a strong root system. A good root system is critical for a vigorous vine, so be sure to fertilize and water your clematis regularly (try a 5-10-10 fertilizer) This will create a good foundation for years of beautiful blooms, and before you know it, your new clematis will reward you with years of prolific blooms.

Try these links for more information on growing clematis:

Good luck!


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July 9, 20080 found this helpful

Different kinds bloom at different times. What kind is yours?

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October 21, 2008 Flag
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Why didn't my clematis bloom?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Sandy from Milwaukee, WI

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October 21, 20080 found this helpful

I had one in place when we bought this house; and while it may have been in the sun when it was planted, it was now shaded. I moved it to full sun, and a rabbit promptly bit it off to the ground, so I figured it was done for! But it came back, bigger and better than ever, and the full sun did the trick--blooms like a champ! Be sure it gets lots and lots of sun.

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November 21, 20080 found this helpful

I used flat rocks/tiles "tented" over the bottom of the plant to keep the roots cool and lots and lots of blooms were the result. Warm head and cold feet!

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July 28, 2011 Flag
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My clematis grows very well. It use to have all kinds of blooms, but in the last couple of years it has had none.

By Bev F

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

How old is it? A lot of plants have a 'shelf life'. Like humans and every other living thing, they have a life span-your clematis might be at the end of its. Although they have a long life span, you may have got your plant when it was at a middle-aged point.

But it could be something else, too. This is a good article about clematis, hope it helps you figure out what is going on with yours: ... ematis_06-24-07_735T09J.154d492.html

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Home and Garden Gardening PerennialsMay 23, 2013
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