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Climbers advice please.

HI all,

We moved into our new house in January so there wasn't much going on in the garden.  Compared from what we moved from this garden is huge and has an abundance of climbers.  Thankfully the previous owner left a box of plant labels which had helped us to identify most of them.

He advised us not to touch the garden for a year and just watch what goes on which is what we have more or less done, but things are getting over grown.

2 questions.....

We have identified a number of honeysuckles which are getting top heavy, would it do any harm to prune them hard back?


The clematis montana should have been pruned after flowering but wasn't, can we do it now?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    If you prune the Montana now, you may not get any flowers in the Spring.

    5/10 for leaving the labels, pity they are not attached to the plants!

    Again, if you prune too hard you may not get any honeysuckle next year, but on the other hand the wild ones get a short back and sides every Autumn when the hedge cutters come round, and they flower profusely.

    I would be inclined to stay your hand and follow the good advice of the previous owner.  Do some decorating in the house instead!

    Will I start a riot if I suggest men are too free with the secateurs?  Always remember 'Growth follows the knife'.

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  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Hollie-hock, re. clematis montana, what do you mean by 'let it die back naturally'?

    In my experience it just marches on, smothering everything in its path!

    But you're right, leave pruning until after it flowers in the Spring.

  • I'm a girl-pruner. I'd prune the honeysuckles now, but not too hard. Leave a few feet. The montana I'd hack it. If its mature, the flowers you lose next spring should mean a decent flush come autumn instead, then just resume normal after-flowering pruning after the next early flush.

  • I cut my honeysuckle a real chopping this time last year as there was a lot of dead wood. This year it has been covered in flowers and the perfume from them wonderful. Pruning for me is a bit of a hit and miss thing as i always forget when i should be doing it. Got to cut back two clematis and guess what cant remember what they are but they pruning as they are taking over the garden.

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