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I have a 5-year-old white clematis but…

Rosetta Asked

I have a 5-year-old white clematis, but it has only bloomed one time in five years. The vines are beautiful, but no bloom.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Clematis is a large group of flowering vines. They are divided into three different categories depending on the time of year they bloom. Do you know which Clematis you are growing? Available sunlight, soil conditions and proper pruning are all potential reasons for lack of blooms. Although they like their roots shaded, clematis bloom best when grown in full sun; a minimum of six hours each day is ideal.

These vines prefer well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients. Too much nitrogen can result in leafy growth but prevent flowers. If you have not had your soil tested recently this would be a good idea. Soil tests can be done through your County Cooperative Extension Service. The results will give recommendations in terms of improving the nutrient levels in your garden. The Harlan County offices are located at 519 South Main St. or you can reach them at (606) 573-4464.

Pruning at the wrong time can prevent blooms as well. Knowing which vine you have is important so you don’t mistakenly remove potential flowers. Spring and mid-summer bloomers should be pruned after flowering, but the late-summer/fall bloomers should be pruned the following spring.

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