The Q&A Archives: Clematis

Question: My clematis only blooms at the top of the vine, what it wrong with it?

Answer: Clematis needs regular pruning to keep it blooming. There are different blooming times for different cultivars, and pruning techniques are different for each. Here are general pruning guidelines: Spring blooming clematis bloom only on the previous year's wood. Cut back a month after flowering to allow new stem growth and bud formation. Summer and fall blooming clematis bloom on wood produced in the spring. Cut back in late fall after flowering. You can cut back to about 2 feet above the soil. Clematis that bloom in spring and again in summer or fall, bloom on old wood in spring, new wood later. Do only light, corrective pruning in fall or early spring. If you're not sure which cultivar you have, watch for blooming cycles and begin pruning next year.

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