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Can I cut clematis montana back to old wood

susananwmssusananwms Posts: 213
This plant has been a beast and I have cut it back frequently. I wanted to cut back to the ground but my neighbour liked it going over her fence so I left it on condition that she would pull it over and fasten down which she has not done. Because of bad pruning my side (by me) I am left with dry bare twigs and all flowers on top of fence. My question is can I still cut back down to about 12 inches or is that bottom growth all dead wood now? Would like to start it all over again but not sure if I can. Will try and load a pic


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I had a similar one Clematis Marjorie which was cut down all along to about 2ft. It has recovered and is yet again thriving.............
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FireFire Posts: 17,338
    I like the idea of growing on a montana and pruning it down low every year or two.
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 213
    Thanks for that hogweed, at least I know I can go ahead this summer and cut it back.  I should have not listened to neighbour and done it earlier but at least I now know that I am not going to kill it.  
  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    I'll second hogweed's post. I was ruthless with mine earlier this year after it blew down in one of the gales we has and it's now sprouting all over the old wood. I know it won't flower this year but at least I know it's still alive.

    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 213
    I am feeling happier and happier.  Thank you UFF I can now cut back knowing that I am not killing it.  Have had my fair share of calamities in the past
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,929
    Another vote for cutting it right down, l have cut my Montana back to around a foot a couple of times, and it's come back each time. Last time was 2 years ago, and the buds are just beginning to open.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,549
    you could cut the Top off,leaving about 4ft and thin some shoots right out to the ground and train the remaining shoot sideways to start a wider framework
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 213
    Thanks Hostafan that is something to consider as it is top heavy.  Will wait till after flowering and then cut back
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    The important thing, whatever method you choose, is to try and train stems horizontally as much as you can, so that you get flowers lower down.  :)
    I had one in a previous garden, on quite a low fence, and I did that from the start, back and forth with the stems, so that the fence was virtually invisible after a few years, and we had a wall [or fence] of flowers the full length of it, plus round the back door and the pergola at the other end.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,929
    In 2019, my Montana looked like this

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