The Q&A Archives: Clematis Pruning

Question: I'm a little confused about the pruning of a clematis. I've always trimmed mine down in the fall and it would regrown in the spring and then flower. This year I didn't prune it in the falll and in the spring it had buds. I trimmed it a few feet and now it has grown tremendously and has many very large purple flowers on the extensions of the old vines. But, nothing new is growing at the bottom as it has in the past. Since I've had success both ways, what should I do this fall. Prune back, trim a little, don't trim. Thanks.

Answer: You may have a plant that blooms on old stems and also reblooms on the new growth once it has matured. (Different clematis behave in different ways.) I would suggest you experiment and prune some each way meaning half in fall as you used to do and half in the spring as you did this time; then you should have two good bloom flushes plus some new growth from the base. Alternatively, if you have a preference for when it blooms you can prune accordingly.

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