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plkelly
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Belle of Woking Clematis - Does it Need Special Care?

I have 5 clematis, and all do really well except for a white one called, I think, Belle of Woking.

Can anyone tell me if this clematis needs something the others don't? I have had it 4-5 years and it has produced ONE flower. The others all bloom their heads off, and they are all planted in front of the same fence.

I know there are different types of clematis that need cutting back at different times, depending on whether they bloom on new or old wood, or both. I don't know what in the world I'm doing wrong with this one. It's roots are shaded by low growing verbenas and cranesbills, but each year it sends up one very healthy looking stem, gets halfway up its support and then just quits. In fact, it seems to be there one day and gone the next. If something is eating it, I can't figure out why it doesn't eat the others, too.

Any have this plant? Any advice?

Thanks--

Patsy

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hendi_alex
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Did a quick google and found this article that IMO is very informative and useful. The author says that 'Belle of Woking' can be a difficult clematis to grow and flower. When I have difficulty with a plant, especially a clematis, I move it into a container until the plant gets healthy and vigorous. That often gives success at the moisture and other conditions can be more easily controlled when the plant is isolated in its own growing medium. The author of this piece did the same and saved her suffering clematis.

https://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/06/HOHPUJ1L1.DTL&feed=rss.homeandgarden
Last edited by hendi_alex on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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plkelly
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Thanks for the link, Alex! Great information. I googled this last year and didn't seem to find anything.

The plant does seem to have one big bud on it now--rather hairy looking, but I do think it's a bud--so I'm going to see if that blooms. If it disappears this year again, I'm going to dig it up and try putting it in a pot, per the article you linked. It seems like it's hung on a long time. Sometimes the stem dies and even will re-emerge later in the season, so it definitely wants to grow.

Patsy

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I have an exquisite Clematis called 'Crystal Fountains' which has a June to July bloom, a "dormancy" and a August to September bloomtime. Sounds like "Belle fo Woking" mIght be similar in timing...

There are different types of clematis and they each have different pruning needs. I find this site most helpful...

[url]https://www.daytonnursery.com/Encyclopedia/Vines/Clematis.htm[/url]

Frankly I'd ditch 'Belle of Woking' for 'Duchess of Edinburgh', more flower time and the best white I know...

HG
Scott Reil

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plkelly
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Thanks for the link, Scott! I bookmarked it. I'm always having to look up when and how far to cut these back.

The Duchess does look pretty and I'll try it. I only have the Belle of Woking because it was discounted hugely at the end of the season a few years back. I didn't know anything about it (and still didn't until I found your forum). I sort of assumed they all took the same type of care.

Growing along the same fence where I put the Belle are a Nellie Moser, a Nirobe, a Etoile Violette, a Sweet Autumn Clematis and a Jackmanii. I love them, but the Sweet Autumn is really rambuctious. I figure it can fight the grape vine the neighbors on the other side of the fence have. They never trim it and every year I have to get a ladder to get it out of my Japanese Maple.
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

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Yep, C. paniculata, or sweet autumn clematis is a gorrilla; I've an old friend who planted it to cover an old garage wall, and it did. And then the roof the next year, and the other wall the year after (okay it took a little longer than that...). I have it on a trellis at Mom's and we whack it back hard every spring; the Jackmanii on the other side barely makes the top of the trellis and the paniculata has to be beaten back with sticks...

At my house I have teamed the slow and deliberate 'Crystal Fountains' with "Polish Spirit', a far more spirited grower with far less flashy flowers, but LOTS of them; think your "Etoile Violette" in purple...wonderful combo...

HG
Scott Reil

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plkelly
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I found those online--Crystal Fountains is gorgeous! Does it actually bloom all summer long?

And while we're on the subject, how do you pronounce Clematis? Everyone I know, including me, calls it clem-A-tis (accent on the middle syllable) and always has, but I notice all my books indicate it's CLEM-a-tis. Is it a regional thing or did someone just arbitrarily decide to change it? Like Uranus or Halley's Comet.
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

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plkelly
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As soon as you complain about something . . . . .

Look what's blooming!!

First picture is close up of bloom opening, second picture shows the same flower and the second bud. (lower right)

[img]https://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb267/plkelly/IMG_1943.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb267/plkelly/IMG_1944.jpg[/img]
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

snootycat
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Belle of Woking

I am hopeless at gardening but I was attracted to this plant as I lived in Woking. I put it on a rose arch and left it. Every year it bloomed beautifully, at first with double flowers and then later in the year with single flowers. I cant remember when it bloomed in terms of months but it had two flowerings. I gave it no special care whatsoever, other than perhaps an annual feed of rose fertiliser which was really destined for the rose s I grew alongside it. It was rather straggly, most of the flowers were at the top of the arch, but as my garden was rather overgrown anyway it didnt really matter! I thought it a beautiful flower, a lovely shade of pale lilac and it was a lovely cut flower.
I can only assume that it was something to do with the soil in Woking being ideally suited. It certainly wasnt because I cared very much for it. I was so attached to it I nearly dug it up when I moved but lost my nerve.
I am going to buy another one, I had no idea it was regarded as a difficult plant to grow at all! :o

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