Answer: Without knowing which clematis you have, it is difficult to give you specific advice. Some flower on old growth and some flower on new growth. Many clematis look bare until mid spring when they begin to leaf out. ne of the most common types of dark purple flowered clematis is the "Jackmanii" which flowers in July and August on new growth of the season. This one can be left unpruned, can be pruned moderately to very hard in early spring, or can be pruned to within a foot of the ground, and will come back strong and bloom the same year. When left virtually unpruned, this vine will build up a mass of bare and old stems at the base, so pruning will help it look better by reducing that mass. Why not leave your plant unpruned until you determine when it flowers and whether or not it flowers on new or old growth. Once you figure that out, you can prune after flowering on the types that flower on old growth, or prune in early spring if yours is the type that flowers on new growth. Good luck with your clematis!
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