Clematis pruning and maintenance

I have three container grown Clematis (names not known) that did not do at all well last year. I would like to replace some of the soil and generally get them to perform better than before.  I believe they are mid/late bloomers. They are at present looking very tatty, tall (4-6 feet high) and brown. Could someone please advise the best time and method to prune and also the best time to take out old soil and replace with new, to replace nutrients please? 

Also, may I ask how much and when to water, as I feel this where I failed last year.  



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,159

    Clematis are very hungry plants so, if you can't plant them in the ground,  give them the biggest pot you can.   It's a good idea to replenish some of the soil each year but not so much that you distrub their roots.   Scrape off a couple of inches and add fresh compost, preferably John Innes no 3.   Then give it a good watering to soak the whole pot and let it drain.   Clematis are thirsty plants too but don't like being water-logged.   Add a top dressing of clematis feed in early spring - available in good garden centres - and keep watered regularly with an occasional tonic of liquid rose or tomato food.

    As yours bloom in mid to late summer, you can prune them back to the lowest buds on each stem in late Feb or early March depending on how cold your winters are and what the weather is doing.  Don't prune when it's freezing.



    The Vendée, France
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 330

    Thanks for the advice Obelixx, I will leave them alone for a few more weeks then trim back and refresh soil  

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