Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Life of a Clematis

'Baby' Clematis, July 2020

A few weeks ago, I decided to do some radical tree surgery on my Clematis Alpina plant that had been living on my balcony for 11 years. It seemed old and tired, with only some life at the top, but a meter or so of old bare branches below, also entangled with remaining dead branches from a another dead clematis already removed (it was another kind of clematis, less hardy than the Alpina). But also a little bit of promising new green at the bottom...

So I decided to try and save that green part at the bottom. I cut out a chunk of the roots underneath, and planted it in a smaller pot, which I placed indoors on the window sill in my study. 

It immediately started producing new runners (is that the word?) climbing up the little trellis. It has even produced a flower bud already! My plan (fingers crossed) is to keep it indoors over winter, then give it a bigger pot again in the spring, and put it outside again next summer. 

If it works, that will be amazing, because this plant actually comes from one that I had for years on the balcony at my previous flat. When I moved from there to here - 12 years ago - that plant was as tall as the one I cut down now; and I realized I would not be able to move it (trellis and all). So back then I just took some cuttings from it and hoped those would survive. The cuttings did grow roots, and the plant survived the first winter in the new flat in a small pot indoors; and was then moved out on the balcony the following spring.

Here are some photos from my archives:

Left: 'Grandma' Clematis on the balcony at my previous flat, May 2008.
Top right: 1 year old 'Mama' Clematis on my new balcony, June 2009.
Bottom right: Tired old 'Mama' Clematis still on the same spot, April 2020.



  1. So your balcony and your plants have a history! I love it. And I like your baby clematis

  2. You are really talented at growing them! We never had any luck, all ours died.

  3. How nice to have this plant in its third generation keeping you company through moving and for so many years.

    1. Meike, yes. Some plants that one has had for a long time tend to become a bit like... if not family, at least like pets! ;)

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog posts. You are always very positive and remind me to find things to be grateful for. In these quiet days when the news programs are so often about people who are sick or dying, you brighten the day. I think clematis grows here although I have never grown one. It's lovely to think this plant has been your companion for so many years. Don't forget to tell all your plants that their stories travel around the world.

    1. Thank you. It's a challenge these days in "half-quarantine" to come up with anything at all to write about sometimes... But I find it is often the little things in life that cheer myself up.


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