Photo by Missouri Botanical Garden
Hybrid clematises, the ones with big flowers, sometimes die mysteriously from “wilt,” whatever that is. So far, ‘Nelly Moser’ has endured eleven years for me, at the corner of the deck where it climbs on a panel of wire mesh and, the last few years, up one leg of a rebar arch. If I promptly cut off flowers when they lose the first petal, the vine keeps budding and making more flowers right through summer (it also has to keep growing to keep flowering so I water it.)
This year, thanks to soaking rains every five days or so, Nelly has been growing without stop right through summer. Three stems are climbing the arch and they almost reached the top about nine feet above the ground, and up at the tip, there are new flowers. I think the lesson is that some plants will keep going way past their usual growth spurt if they have enough water. The boxwoods in front of my house are sending up wayward shoots six inches long here and there above the shoots that grew earlier and stopped.
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