Pinching top of clematis - Knowledgebase Question

Fort Edward, Ne
Question by clallen
June 30, 2010
I have a Nelly Moser clematis that is in it's second year-first year it did nothing. Now it has reached the top of my trellis in one long stem (no flowers yet). Should I pinch the top to get it to branch outward? I live in upstate NY.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Here?s some pointers on pruning clematis. Spring bloomers bloom only on the previous year's wood. Cut back a month after blooming. Summer and fall bloomers bloom on new wood produced that spring. Cut back in late fall after flowering or in early spring as buds appear. For the first 2-3 years, cut to within 6-12 inches of the ground. For older plants, cut to 2 feet.

Nellie Moser is Clematis montana, also known as Anemone Clematis. It's a vigorous grower, extremely hardy, and produces masses of 2-2 1/2" anemone-like flowers in early spring, opening white then turning pink. Your clematis flowers on old wood and can be pruned immediately after flowering to rejuvenate the plant or to reduce its size. When you prune, leave some main branches. New flowering shoots will develop from old wood, providing next spring's display of flowers.

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