Forum home Plants

Clematis pruning help

Hello - I'm looking for some advice on when/how to prune this clematis. In our previous house we had one which I cut down ever year and it came back lovely but from a bit of Googling I think this is a different pruning type, I'm just not sure what type!!

It flowered in May and currently looks like a tangled mess. Should I cut right back and if so when, or just a trim?

thanks all!!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    edited December 2020
    It looks like an early large-flowered variety and these are classed as Group 2 for pruning.  However, the good news is that you can treat these types as Group 3 and cut right back to about 30cm (just above the lowest pair of buds on each stem) in late February/early March.  It will flower later in the year though if cut back hard like this.
    If you want the early flowers, Group 2 pruning is also done in February goes like this:
    Start at the tip of each stem and follow it back until you come to a strong pair of buds (these will produce the early flowers) that are within the bounds of your trellis framework and cut just above them.  If that stem is still too long and straggly then go back to a lower set of buds.  Do that for every stem.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016
    edited December 2020
    As @BobTheGardener says you can treat a group 2 as a group 3 and that's what I would do with that one given its position between two windows.  Just make sure you give it a generous handful of slow release fertiliser for clematis, roses or tomatoes to encourage it and make sure it doesn't go thirsty in hot and/or dry spells.

    You won't get the early flowers followed by a gap and then a second flush in late summer but you will get a later and longer flush all summer.  I always did this with my group 3s in my last garden as they were usually frozen to bits in winter and had no surviving stems from the pervious year to flower in May. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • This is really helpful, thanks both 😊
Sign In or Register to comment.