Updated: 10 April at 00:38

The Nelsons

Always an Adventure

Pruning Clematis

Source: http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/clematis-pruning-guide.aspx

Repeat Bloomers

Repeat Bloomer Clematis vines bloom in late spring or early summer, then again sporadically, on new shoots and old stems.

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The vines that bloom mostly on older stems have their heaviest flush of flowers in late spring, while those that bloom mostly on new shoots are more prolific in the latter part of summer. Group 2 vines require a bit more pruning finesse than do the vines of the other groups. If you cut back these types drastically right after the first bloom, you miss out on much of the summer show; if you do so just before growth begins, you miss the spring flush.

A few approaches are effective when pruning this group.


The most refined approach is to lightly thin out and disentangle stems before growth begins in late winter or early spring, and then go over the plant again after the earliest flowers fade in late spring or early summer, severely shortening the stems that bore those flowers. If the plant tends to bloom more heavily later rather than earlier in the season, you can be more heavy-handed when thinning stems before growth begins in early spring.

A simpler option when pruning Group 2 clematis vines is to severely prune the plant back by half in alternate years.

Another approach is to cut the whole plant back drastically every few years just before growth begins, with little or no pruning in the intervening time; in this case, you give up only the earliest blossoms in the season you prune.