Answer: The late summer blooming clematis usually do best if pruned hard in early spring, meaning cut back to within a foot or so of the ground. They also appreciate a generous top dressing of compost or well-rotted manure along with an application of a balanced ferilizer such as 10-10-10 in the spring. Finally, they like their "tops in the sun and their roots in the shade", so a heavy organic mulch (don't let it touch the stems, though) is a good idea, along with maintaining a steadily moist but not soggy soil throughout the growing season. Good luck with your clematis!
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