Clemantis- Winterizing for beautiful spring growth

My Henrii Clematis is one of my favorite plants. Housed in a large Earthenware pot it is approx. 5-6 years old. Early in my ownership, I left it to climb and twist as it wanted. Then I realized, in the cold the stems are most brittle, and it's tenuous hold on the trellis, the iron grill and other nearby stems was compromised by frigid temperatures and brutal winds. It's fragile tendrils were constantly broken as it's top heavy shape was buffeted back and forth like a punching bag ripping it from the trellis and mangling the stems in the process. I had to DO something, but what? Henrii is a tough and prolific bloomer, and at least in this area of the country he seems to actually prefer the cooler temperatures, not only does he bloom up until a freeze, but has a new crop of flowers ready in the spring before almost anything else, including my daffodils...Still I had already experienced the badly broken stems, reduced flowering and crispy dead foliage covered over in a layer of new spring's certainly impossible to fix it then...and so I learned sacrifice is necessary for the best health of the plant...and each fall I carefully trim the side shoots that are tangled until I loosen the "head" of the plants and trim, trim, trim until I am all the way to the main stems and then loosely tie those to the trellis for the winter. Today is November the sixth, and not only were there flowers on the plant, there were buds and new growth leaves as well, and yet I know that much like the advice to keep your hair trimmed if you want it to remain healthy, Henrii's heath depends on this fall ritual.
Nov-after his trim
April 13-2013, Henrii's on his way back to Blooming...LOL
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  • Vetsy Vetsy on Aug 05, 2013
    I just love Clematis even though I have not had the opportunity to own any. I fell in love with them when My Mom bought one about three years ago...Her's is a light purple but I have always said that one day I want a white one..... I think they are so pretty! I'm glad to learn that you have found a solution and care for keeping yours healthy and happy.... It's a future tip that I will need Thanks for sharing...

  • Charlotte Belange Charlotte Belange on Feb 23, 2015
    I read yesterday that if you forgot to trim in the fall, you can do it now by cutting it down to a foot tall . Will start growing back real soon. I'm going to do mine tomorrow. Happy planting everyone. Char B YELM,WA