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pruning clematis

susananwmssusananwms Posts: 201
Have got 2 tall leggy summer flowering clematis which I normally cut right back.  I have been waiting for the bad weather to finish before I did this but now find they have both got new green growth at the tops.  Is it too late to cut them back now? if it is i will have the flowers on top of spindly growth
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  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,104
    Do you know the names of them? If not I would cut back to some strong buds say at a foot tall and give them some feed water well for a few weeks if there is no rain.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,078
    They sound like Group 3s so yes- you can just cut them back hard now, unless it's going to be severely frosty or icy where you are.
    A mulch afterwards will help, and you can then feed as they start growing properly, but stop doing that when flower buds/flowers appear.  
    Even if they're Group 2s, it won't matter re pruning them, but if you normally cut them back at this time of year, and they flower in summer, they'll be 3s.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • HeliosHelios Posts: 186
    Mine often get new green growth on top at this time of year. Mine are group 3 too and you have to be hard hearted and hack - and don’t look at the new top growth😀. Once it gets warmer your clematis will sprout beautifully from down where you’ve cut it, just be brave!
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 201
    GardenerSuze, sorry I do not know the names of them, I did not even know there were diffrent groups of Clematis until I came on this site
    Fairygirl, I do not know if they are group 2 or 3 but thank you for the info.  I will take both your advice and cut them back, hopefully they will flourish

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,078
    If they keep getting left to grow tall - it also prevents them producing new shoots from below ground, which means you have a less successful plant. I'm not saying that's the case here, but it's quite a common problem. 
    Pruning well from their early years encourages that, but even with an older plant that's been left to it's own devices a bit too much, it benefits them to be pruned back hard   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 201
    Thank you Helios you have just made me more confident about cutting them back and I will do it tomorrow.  I have made mistakes in the past when cutting stuff back and it has not grown so now I always check
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 201
    Thanks Fairygirl, am really grateful for all advice I get on here.  I'm sure I will be back many times now that the gardening time has arrived
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,104
    If you don't prune them back you get what I would describe as a bird's nest at the top all tangled this is where it flowers. With nothing but brown leaves at the base.
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 201
    GardenerSuze, That is exactly what I was thinking, am so glad I came on here and got the correct advice, you would not believe all the different things people have told me but at least I now know the right way to do it
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,698
    Plus if you post a picture when it's in flower someone will tell you what the clematis is susananwms.
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