The Q&A Archives: Pruning Autumn Clematis

Question: Could you please tell me the correct way to overwinter and my 3-year-old autumn clematis? Last year I did nothing, but I am sure I can be making a better/stronger plant with proper preparation.

Answer: Pruning clematis can sometimes sound complicated, but plants grow fast and are reasonably forgiving if you make a mistake. Just watch for healthy buds at leaf bases, and try to preserve them as you prune for shape. Clematis that bloom in spring and againin the fall bloom on old wood in the spring and new wood later in the season. Prune or pinch only lightly in the spring, after it blooms, so you'll get blooms the following fall. Mulch the roots after hard frost to protect them during the winter.

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