Worry is like a rocking chair, it's gives you something to do but gets you nowhere!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pruning Clematis

I posted about this some time ago, thought it was worth a repeat, seeing how I didn't get any 'concrete' comments about how and when to prune a Clematis.

We all love a great flowering Clematis Vine, don't we? It doesn't matter what flowering category your Clematis falls in--flowering will eventually slow way down without pruning...wouldn't that be sad? Unpruned, new growth will only be at the ends of the vines--this is where the flowers will bloom. Photos taken yesterday. Pruning Clematis seems to put fear in even the most experienced Gardeners.
Heres a little of what I remember reading.
1. Spring Bloomers--Prune back when they finish blooming, (do avoid cutting into very old wood)
2. Summer and Fall Bloomers--Prune when dormant or when just waking. If you want it to remain long, prune to healthy leaf bud.
3. Repeat Bloomers--TRICKY, if Spring is the big show prune after flowering--if late season is the show prune while dormant. Do not prune like 1 and 2 --treat more like a trim.

I purchased a few Clematis on sale last Spring, they did not flower but are putting on new growth. I think the tags are incorrect on them, so I have to take the wait and watch approach. The Clematis featured here bloomed like wildfire early Spring and now it's blooming again. I pruned it lightly after the Spring show. This must be a Repeat Bloomer...

How and when do you prune your Clematis? Do you know the names of them, if so, please include them in your comments. Perhaps you have better advice for pruning than I do. Please feel free to share........this is one gardener that can use all the advice she can get!


Deb said...

pretty flower..love the new header....

George said...

Our only clemantis is a summer/fall bloomer, so we prune it when it goes dormant. I prune it almost to the ground and we get a lot of new growth during the spring and summer. This year it climbed up into a red-bud tree growing nearby.

imac said...

Beautiful flower post Darla, sorry Im better at photography than gardening, DW does most of the work and I do the heavy work,lol under instruction,haha.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Love that header. Here is probably the best and most simple book on pruning clematis I have seen in a long time.

A BC, Canada grower, amazing in their field. Trust me, they used to give talks all the time at our nursery. The Dad, is a leading expert in hybridizing.

Clearview horticulture. I am sure if you google it, you can find the website. If I get a chance in the next few days, I will search out the link.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well George told you about our Clematis---so what else can I say??? I do love ours and it has done well every year.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Mine dies back every winter so I really do not have to prune them just remove the dead vines that easily fall away. Hydrangeas and clematis vines do put a fear in one to remember when each one needs pruned back.

Roses and Lilacs said...

We have no choice up here in the north. The dead vines are cut back in the spring before new growth begins.

tori said...

wish I knew...but I LOVE the flowers! and your top pic is awesome too! keep posting the flowers, it's gonna be a long winter up here!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I think all Clematis are so pretty. You've got some beautiful ones. I actually just recently wrote the names of all of mine down and then when they are pruned so I don't forget. Many are new to me in the last year or so, so I'm still learning. I've actually already cut back 'Ville de Lyon', 'Etoille Violette' and 'Jackmanii'. I've had them all for years and they do just fine if I cut them back in the fall.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Type I Clematis should have very little pruning. Type II (generally the Early Large Flowering ones) bloom on old wood, so should be cut back accordingly. Type III Clematis, Viticella hybrids and late flowering cultivars, which bloom on new wood, should be cut back to within a foot of the ground every year. You can look up your Clematis type at Clematis on the Web. Each entry states what type of Clematis it is and whether it needs hard or light pruning. Deadheading and fertilizing after the initial bloom period helps with reblooming, but not all Clematis rebloom. I hope that helps.

Becca's Dirt said...

You have some beautiful clematis. I don't have anything to offer as I do not have one yet.

flowergardengirl said...

Mine prune themselves by dying back to the ground each year so I'm no help. It is scary. Your header pic is one of my fav of you. That was your trip down my way.

Dorothy said...

I can't help you with pruning advice, but I think they are just beautiful!

Susie said...

Sorry Darla, I don't have a clematis and I wouldn't know when to prune it.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Thanks for the great advice. I was never sure how to prune my clematis and this was very helpful.

Grace Peterson said...

Darla~~ What a beautiful banner photo, both the landscape and the focal point. Is that you?

You know what? I've got, I don't know, 20 or so Clematis [plant glutton] and my rule of thumb is to prune the vine back to within a few feet off the ground directly after flowering has finished. I ran this experiment this past summer and sure enough, the ones I pruned came back for an encore flowering. The ones I left to prune the conventional way, stayed green but didn't flower. I'll leave the vines alone for now and next spring when new growth is evident, either from the ground or from the dead previous year's leaf axils [depending on the classification], I'll prune off the dead stuff so the new growth can take off. None of that tangled, gnarled brown mess. It works. A great book on the subject is Linda Beutler's "Gardening With Clematis" although she espouses the conventional pruning methods.

I hope this isn't too jumbled. Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

Tootsie said...

mine is cut to the ground every year! It is usually bigger and prettier every year than the one before!
...my hip is an old injury from when my youngest was born...she was an almost 10 pound monster at birth, and when she was 6 months old, I crossed my legs and gave her the "horsey ride" that popped my right hip out...and it has never been the same since. In and out often and always sore! I am fine, almost ready to post my big reveal of a huge project that has taken up all of my blogging time! Then...on to the Christmas decorating that I am officially a month behind!

Cher said...

i think Singapore has its own version of clematis, i have to research and share when i have a concrete idea. ;)

great macro shots and useful infos!

Jake said...

They are very beautiful vines, but I am of no help. I would like to plan some so, it would be good to know how to prune them.


Twice as Nice said...

My husband just prunes them all the way down in the fall. One year we got too busy and didn't and in the spring they came back just fine. Have a great week. The Twins

Dani said...

I sooooo wish I could grow these!

Dani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corner Gardener Sue said...

I tend to be hit and miss with my pruning. I don't remember the names of my clematises. When I first planted some, I didn't know there were different prune times. I normally prune them back to a few feet in the early spring before they start growing.

You sure have some pretty ones!

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