Forum home Plants

Pinching out Clematis

loesbobloesbob Posts: 33
Hi All,
I have a couple of clematis which have not really done as well as I had hoped during the last three-ish years.  Unfortunately I only know the name of one, Perle D'Azure.  The other is a large flowered variety usually late summer blooming and is already five foot high.  Both of them of them only have a minimal number of shoots out of the soil.  I have alwayas wondered - should I pinch them out as with eg annuals to encourage more shoots and blooms.  Further how can I increase the number shoots comming out of the ground or do I have to go for cuttings planted next to the original?


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    If they are late flowering they are Group 3 which means they should be cut down hard every spring as they flower on new growth.
    Yours should only be around 18 inches high or so at this time of year not 5ft.
    It's not too late to prune now. 
    Then feed, I use a rose fertiliser or you can get a specific clematis one, water well a good can full then apply a mulch of bagged manure, although on mine I am waiting for the soil to warm up before I mulch but I have fed them.
    They usually take 3 years to get going a bit linger if you bought one from a supermarket.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,162
    I agree but given the current weather situation and late frosts I'd hold off on cutting back hard till frosts are past and then I'd leave at least one set of buds on each stem to keep feeding the roots as well as stimulating sap flow up the stems.

    They need a generous annual spring feed of slow release fertiliser for clematis, roses or tomatoes and occasional liquid feeds of something like rose or tomato feed between April and mid July.   Training the stems as horizontally or diagonally as possible will also stimulate branching and more flowering but feeding and watering are the best way to encourage new stems from teh base.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • loesbobloesbob Posts: 33
    Thanks for your advice.  Both  clematis had totally disappeared into the soil over the winter so is the advice still to prune once danger of frost is past?  One was bought from a clematis specialist which is why losing the label is so annoying.  I am lax on feeding so I shall get to it.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,162
    If you don't know what they are you have no clue as to their pruning group so, as they are still small I would leave them be for now and just make sure they are fed, watered and trained.   Then you can perhaps identify them when they flower and will know how to go on in the years to come.

    We can help with that if you post pics of the flowers when there are some.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    If they died back completely and you only now have shoots coming from the soil, then all you need to do at this point is train them towards the supports, if they need it (be careful, they are very brittle at this stage and shoots easily snap off at the leaf nodes.)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • loesbobloesbob Posts: 33
    That is the kind of advice I like - let it grow and sort it out properly next year!!  I shall have to learn to write things down.  In the meantime I shall be patient and watch the garden grow.  Take care y'all and thanks again.
Sign In or Register to comment.