How to Prune Clematis
- Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
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Pruning Group 3
Clematis that flower from midsummer through to the autumn make up this group, and include the prolific small-flowered C. viticella hybrids, and forms of C. texensis. The yellow autumn-flowering C. tangutica and C. orientalis also belong here.
Prune Back Top Growth
When left unpruned, these clematis form flowers at the top of the plant, leaving long, straggly bare stems beneath. To prevent this, cut back the tangle of shoots, removing them from their supports. Do this in late winter before the buds have started to break.
Prune to Healthy Buds
Then cut all the stems back hard. It may look drastic, but pruning the stems to within 12 in (30 cm) of the ground encourages plants to develop a strong network of new shoots. Cut to just above a pair of healthy buds. Prune less radically if you want to maintain height.
Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
When you prune a shrub mostly depends on when it blooms. Here are the basic rules of pruning woody plants.