Pruning a baby clematis

I put a white clematis in the garden today.

It has three branches. Two of the branches have a bud with leaves on about 35 centimetres up and both of them have another bud with leaves on, an additional 5 centimetres above that. The third branch has a bud about 10 centimetres up so it is a lot lower down on the plant.

On the internet I read that you have to be cruel to be kind and that you should prune it back dramatically even thought I have just planted it.

Could anyone give some advice. I was thinking of waiting for it to flower and then when the flowers wither, to prune the tallest branches by about 20 centimetres 


  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    if you have just planted this and it is small, I would not prune this year, make sure you planted it fairly deep and water each day until established .I have found that until they are settled and showing more growth its best to leave alone for the first year, I have lost many due to cutting to soon.image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,144

    Have you planted it several inches deeper than it was in its pot?  This helps encourage extra shoots from the roots and makes for a strudier plant. 

    Clematis can take a couple of years to settle in before they really get going so, unless it's an early spring flowering variety and group 1 for pruning, I would prune it back to just above those buds and give it a good feed of proprietary clematis food plus a drink of liquid tomato food to help it along.   This will let it put its energy into good root formation which will pay dividends in future years for extra top growth and flowers.





    The Vendée, France
  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,292

    The only pruning advice for clemantis I know  is from Monty, if flowers before June don't prune

    This works for early flowering types like Montanas but not sure about the others

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I'm with Obelisk. Give it plenty of feed. Make sure you have planted it deeply - a guide would be about 8-10cm deeper than the pot top. Cut off to the buds - they will come strongly.

    They do take a couple of year s to get going though.

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