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Clematis Josephine Pruning Advice Needed


I am getting ready to prune my first Clematis (it's a Josephine Evijohill) and I have all the instructions for pruning a group 2 clematis but what I'm unsure about it this: I bought it in April 2014 so this is my first prune but is it the Clematis' first prune? Should I be pruning it back following year 1 or year 2 instructions? ie. pruning it back to 10cm from the ground to encourage branching or 50cm from the ground to encourage higher branching? Looking at it now, it has two stems at ground level and one branches again further up, though even further up than that it has a few green buds on it already which will get cut off whether I'm pruning at 10cm or 50cm. Hoping someone can impart some valuable advice to this newbie!

Thanks so much!


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,010

    I have always worked on the basis that Group 2 clems are pruned after their first flush of flowers is finished in May/June and then fed generously to encourage a second flush of flowers at the end of summer.  At this pruning, its usual just to remove dead flowers and then maybe take out one or two stems back to the base to encourage fresh growth and vigour.

    However, in my garden, I treat Group 2s like group 3s as they always get their tops frozen to bits in my winters so anime form mid Feb to mid March, depending on the weather, I prune them back to about 9 inches above the ground and give them a generous dollop of proper clematis food and a mulch of well rotted garden compost.  It usually means they flower a bit later but then I dead head and they keep flowering for months.   Nelly Moser flowered till December last year and Rahvarinne till November.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    I dont suppose anyone can say whether it's the first time the plant has been pruned.  It would depend how old it was when you purchase it.  I always cut my type 2's down by a third in late February (Nelly Moser and Lincoln Star).  I cut type 3 down quite hard to the bottom two buds also in February (Betty Corning). The type 2's get a second haircut immediately after flowering and I sometimes get a second flush later in the year.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Hi obelixx our posts crossed.  I've decided to try the special clematis food this year.  I usually just add Fish Blood and Bone to the soil in Feb and they get a top up of rose fertilizer later in the year.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Thank you that's great advice. I know what to do now! Will make sure I have some clematis food ready to use when I prune in late February. 

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