The Q&A Archives: Hydrangeas and Ruben Montana Clematis

Question: When is the best time to prune hydrangeas and ruben montan clematis? Also, how do I go about pruning them? How much should I cut away?

Answer: Your clematis is considered a Group One in terms of pruning practices: This group of clematis produce their flowers directly from old stems and, therefore, pruning should be done immediately after flowering has finished. Prune this group by removing all dead and weak stems immediately after flowering, then doing just a light tip pruning. All stems should be tied into position on their trellis or other host at this time. After pruning new growth will begin, this growth being the stems for next year?s flowers.

It's okay to prune off the flowers if you'd like to take them indoors, or if you want to preserve them, but hydrangeas are normally left alone until early spring and then, when the buds begin to swell on the canes, prune everything back to about knee high. New flowering shoots will develop on the wood you've left.

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