Whatever variety of Clematis you choose, pruning is a key part of successful growth and bountiful blooming. Many gardeners are confused by when to prune Clematis and how to do it, so we've put together this guide for you to follow on when and how to prune Clematis.
Do you know when your clematis breaks into bloom? If you do then you will be able to work out when the best time for pruning will be. Clematis are split into three pruning groups according to the flowering season. If you are unsure when your Clematis blooms, the best thing to do is wait until the first flowers appear, note the month and then you will be able to work out what group your clematis belongs to. Don’t just go ahead and hack the stems down thinking that it won’t matter, as this may well cause irreversible damage to the plant.
Flowers through late Spring and Summer and those which flower twice (once in early Spring and again late Summer). Varieties in this group include the large flowered Nelly Moser, Niobe, Bees Jubilee, Aneta and Princess Charlotte.
Flowers late summer. Varieties in this group include Jackmanii, Minuet, Prince George and Viticella.
All newly planted Clematis with just one or two healthy base stems, should be given a hard pruning the first spring after planting. For established Clematis, follow the Clematis pruning group's dates as follows:
This is the no pruning category (hooray). These varieties don’t need to be pruned regularly to provide you with an abundance of growth and blooms.
Pruning should take place at some point in February (late Winter - early Spring). If the variety flowers twice, then a second pruning should take place in early Summer (May - June) after the first flush of blooms.
Pruning should take place in February (late Winter - early Spring).
How to Prune Clematis
All newly planted Clematis can be pruned back to about 30cm above the ground, in the first spring following planting. This should encourage strong stem growth and a good base for future growth of the plant. Ensure that this hard pruning takes place after the risk of frost has passed around March. For established Clematis plants follow the group pruning guide as follows:
Do you have a Clematis of which you are particularly proud? We’d love to see your photos, you can share them on our Facebook page or Twitter. Also if you have any great tips for growing or pruning?