Clematis new shoots

l usually cut back my Clematis Voluceau in mid/late February, but this year there are no new shoots until you get half way up the plant, and the strong shoots are at the top. Where should I prune? I really didn’t want to leave so much of last year’s dead wood. Any ideas?


  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,120
    It's a group 3, yes?  Should be ok to cut right back.
    I cut all the top growth off my (g3) Etoile Violette in late Feb, new shoots are now sprouting from the base.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,154
    I agree ... I cut mine hard back about now even if that removes new growth ... they always make lots of new shoots from the base. 

    Note to self ... cut back the Group 3s this weekend 🤔 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,097
    I was a bit late too and there were a lot of shoots probably due to the unusual warm spell.  All hacked back last w/e to any buds below 30cm or right to the ground if none were that low.  It did feel a bit harsh doing so, but I have no worries -they'll be back! :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you all so much for your replies. There are no new shoots at the bottom, but I’ll cut it right back and see what happens - thanks again for your advice.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,154
    @faithful1 :)
    Some of my C. alpinas and viticellas have new shoots springing up from below ground several inches away from the crown itself, so watch where you stand when you’re pruning  :open_mouth:
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 27,021
    Yes - the pruning itself helps promote new shoots, so don't worry about pruning back quite hard. It's also one of the reasons for planting clematis a bit deeper than you would with anything else, as the new stems can grow from well below ground. 
    Pruning done higher up means the flowers are also higher up, which is fine if you have a lot of planting lower down, and round about the base of the clematis, but generally it's better to cut back low down.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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