Poor blooms on Nellie Moser clematis

My Nellie Moser clematis, the kind with the pink and white stripes, did not bloom well this year. The flowers were smaller, color washed out, and didn't last long at all. It did well last year but still isn't a very big plant for as long as I have had it. I have it growing behind a fairly large azalea, to shade the roots, but I am wondering if the azalea is too big, and blocking too much sun from the plant. Could this be the problem or are there other reasons for a clematis to not do well?
The blooms are smaller and pale compared to last year. Also, I have had it at least 4 years and would think it should be bigger.
  17 answers
  • Brenda Barton Brenda Barton on Jun 19, 2013
    Your azalea may be crowding the clematis. I had mine in the west getting sun all evening. Watering daily.
  • Kim Hurles Pickard Kim Hurles Pickard on Jun 19, 2013
    Do you think I should dig up and move the azalea out a little, or would cutting it back a lot be enough?
  • Jayme Renee Jayme Renee on Jun 19, 2013
    I have the same clematis and my color was very washed out too! I had big blooms but they were so dull and white looking compaired to other years... I think yours still look beautiful tho. :)
  • Kim Hurles Pickard Kim Hurles Pickard on Jun 19, 2013
    Thanks, but it looked gorgeous last year and the flowers were huge. You can't see in the picture how washed out they are. It was still pretty, though.
  • Nancy Blue Moon Nancy Blue Moon on Jun 19, 2013
    I have had my Clematis for at least 4-5 years now..this year has been the most beautiful blooming with large purple flowers..it seems to take them a long time to get really nice Kim..I don't understand why yours would be smaller and faded though..even so it looks very pretty to me..
  • SANDY SANDY on Jun 19, 2013
    I would try pruning clematis 1st after it blooms. Next yr if the same, cut your azalea way back to give clematis more light and make sure to water well and give it a little fertilzer. Then if same result, move one of the plants elsewhere.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 20, 2013
    I think it's grown past the point where shade from the azalea would be an issue. But Nellie is a pretty thirsty plant. How often does it get watered?
  • Kim Hurles Pickard Kim Hurles Pickard on Jun 20, 2013
    That is a good question. I doubt I water it every week. We have had a lot of rain but it is close to the house and with the azalea it may not get enough that way either. Once in a while I water it directly under the azalea, at the base of the clematis. Maybe I will try at least 2x a week.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jun 20, 2013
    Nelly Moser is a type 2 bloomer so I would not prune it until early spring. I have one and I know that mine does not get enough light so I would guess that is what is wrong with yours. Mine had about as many blooms as yours this year but it looked the best it has ever looked probably because of so my rain here.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jun 20, 2013
    http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=346 Meant to give you a link for your clematis.
  • Sheila Suarez Sheila Suarez on Jun 20, 2013
    That is a beautiful Clematis vine !! I just bought one while up in Tennessee and brought it to Florida.........now I am wondering if I made a mistake because I'm not seeing any Clematis in anyone's yard !!!!
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 21, 2013
    It's a challenge to grow clematis in Florida, Sheila, but this article names a couple of varieties you might try: http://www.theledger.com/article/20110218/COLUMNISTS/102185006
  • Annie Stuart Annie Stuart on Jun 21, 2013
    I wonder if pH or minerals in the soil would affect the coloration?
  • Vanessa Godfrey Vanessa Godfrey on Jun 21, 2013
    Add some Epson salt to the soil about 5 inches away from the roots. Just 2-3 tablespoons.
  • Kim Hurles Pickard Kim Hurles Pickard on Jun 21, 2013
    Will the Epsom salts be ok for the azalea too?
  • Vanessa Godfrey Vanessa Godfrey on Jun 22, 2013
    Yep, Epson salts is't really a salt, but Magnesium and something else both are very good for booming plants
  • Kim Hurles Pickard Kim Hurles Pickard on Jun 22, 2013
    Thanks. I had just read somewhere that Epsom salts weren't really salt, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't something that wouldn't be OK for the azalea. Good to know.