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Clematis pruning

Hello everyone
please can you advise how to prune clematis voluceau ( group 3)
and clematis Darius ( group 2)
I know there is lots of info on internet but it’s confusing. I planted mine in spring 2018 but both only really properly flowered this year. Both did not flower from the base but were still an absolute delight. Photos attached


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 1,714
    Your first photo is of  fushia flowers 
    Group 3 are cut down to almost the base in the spring.
    Group 2 you can treat as Group 3 or just cut back to where the stem has new leaves starting again in spring
    Very few clematis flower lower down although you can but ones that are called top to bottom or is it bottom to top?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,452
    Agree.  It's easiest to cut both back to about 9"/23cms above the ground in spring and then give them both a generous dollop of slow release clematis, rose or tomato feed and a drink and then top that with a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost.

    That way they will both produce fresh new stems and a wider spread of flowers all thru summer.  Be sure to guide the new growth where you want it to go before it gets into an almighty vertical column of tangle.

    However, if your prefer, the group 2 gets pruned after the initial blush of flowers in May/June to remove untidy growth and spend flowers and then, after a good feed, it should produce another flush in late summer.  I always find that a faff so treat group 2s as 3s.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Great. Thanks for your feedback. That’s all very clear. 
  • ShennyShenny Posts: 36
    with regards to all the great advice above, I have just been into the garden and both the group2 and group3 clematis are growing new buds about 1.5m above the ground. 
    Is it the right time to prune them both about 9 inches from the ground as recommended? 
    Or shall I wait a few weeks before pruning them?
    please advise. Thanks. 
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 1,714
    Mine are the same but I am going to wait until March as weather can turn  -think Beast from the East
    in 2019!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,452
    edited 21 February
    I'd wait too as March can be brutal but it depends on where you are and how sheltered they are.

    Group 2s can be cut back to the highest healthy bud as they will then flower from about May on old wood.  They then need to be well fed and, once the flowers go over, tidied up and dead-headed and fed again and they'll produce a second flush at the end of the summer.

    Group 3s can be cut back to about 9" or to just above the lowest healthy bud depending on how vigorous they are.  Eg, viticellas such as Etoile Violette are fine to cut hard but I have found others such as Warsaw Nike do better if cut to the lowest buds.

    In my last garden - rural central Belgium - winters were hard and I never had any live growth above ground on the group 2s so I always treated them as Group 3s like Warsaw Nike and that worked brilliantly, giving me one long flush of flowers in summer.

    Plenty of mulching, some slow release feed and watering during dry spells improve performance no end and don't forget to train in new growth as it appears and before it becomes one big tangle that is impossible to undo.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ShennyShenny Posts: 36
    Thank you. 
    I will wait till March and follow the advice. 
  • I have a type 2 Clematis 'Fireworks'. I am growing it up a trellis with an east facing aspect. Last year it produced one vigorous  flowering shoot which is six inches above the top of the trellis, there are another three shoots at the base just starting to wake up.

    My question is, should I cut the vigorous shoot back to a healthy bud, or do I cut it down to the base to encourage the other three to grow.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,452
    I'd cut that stem back to the lowest buds and then give the plant a good feed and watch it respond so you can tie in and train new growth to get a good spread.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for the advice, part of me was thinking to leave the one stem, at least I will have some flowers this year, but I will take your advice and cut it back getting lots of healthy vigorous shoots for a great display next year.

    One final question, can you grow a type 2 clematis on a narrow trellis next to a front door with a climbing rose.  I am thinking of the variety 'Aloha' or is it be best to allow 'Fireworks to do its thing without competition from a rose.
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