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How and when to prune mature Arthur Bell climber

B3B3 Posts: 26,948
I have a healthy mature Arthur Bell climber . I nibble at It and  It flowers pretty constantly, but most of the activity is higher than I'd like.
Should I pull the young stems and tie them lower or can I prune it right back? The main stems are about an inch in diameter.
If cutting right back is the way to go, when is the best time? 
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,818
    edited July 2022
    Like any other climbing rise it will flower best on spurs produced from training your main stems horizontally or diagonally across a support of some sort.   If you leave all the stems growing vertically it will naturally just flower at the top.

    The main pruning period is winter and you can remove up to a third of the oldest stems then, right to the base, in order to encourage renewal and vigour.  Remove any obvious dead, damaged or diseased stemsand then just shape the rest to their support.   

    Give it a good feed and then tie in new stems as they appear.

    In autumn, you can prune out any long setms that are growing the wrong way and can't be tied in.   This will reduce damage from seasonal gales and storms.  Give it a mulch of good, fibrous compost.

    This may help: 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,948
    Thanks @obelixx. It's a bit scary doing a drastic prune so I've been putting it off for years! I'll do the third thing and go for the woody ones . It throws up stems into the stratosphere so over the years, I've been pruning most of them right down and only leaving the ones with flower buds or tying the odd one horizontally. Off to have a read of the link now. Thanks again😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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