The Q&A Archives: Clematis Blooms

Question: This is the second year my clematis plants have bloomed so I am still not sure about taking care of them. After the bloom has wilted/fallen off, what should I do with the fuzzy "pom pom" looking thing that is left? Do I pinch it off or leave it alone?

Answer: Pruning clematis sounds complicated, but it really is not. Spring-blooming clematis blooms only on the previous year's wood. Cut it back a month after flowering to restrict the sprawl, preserving the main branches. If yours blooms both in spring and summer, cut it back in the fall after flowering. You can cut to within 6-12 inches of the ground, leaving 2-3 buds. These buds will produce new wood which will flower the following year. Clematis is very forgiving, so if you prune too much, it will forgive you and it will recover!

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