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How To Prune Clematis

Unlike most climbing plants, Clematis can’t be kept healthy simply by deadheading. Deadheading, of course, is part of the process but there’s more to pruning Clematis plants than meets the eye. Prune new Clematis to around 15-30cm from ground level to avoid straggly single stem plants. Prune during February and March and cut just above a bud. Clematis plants are difficult to prune simply because there isn’t a set rule for every type. It varies between varieties but this can be easily solved once you know when your Clematis plant flowers. Find out whether your Clematis flowers on old wood, on both old wood and new growth produced during the current season or those that flower only on new growth during the pruning season.

Group 1
These Clematis plants flower on old wood during spring. You can leave these Clematis plants until they start to outgrow their space. They need sufficient space so cut out congested branches to clear some room. You can also take sufficient branches back to where they meet the main trunk to give your Clematis more room to flourish.

Group 2
These Clematis plants flower on old wood and new growth during spring and early summer. Prune this Clematis by cutting out all the damaged, dead and weak growth. Remove any wood that’s making the Clematis congested, cutting back to a pair of buds.

Group 3
These Clematis plants flower on new growth during late summer. Cut back these Clematis plants in winter or early spring to the first pair of buds above the ground.

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