Clematis when to prune?

I have 2 which have been set last summer. They are the prune code that you are meant to cut right back. But when do I do this and how far back??
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Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,675

    Depending on the harshness of the winter, I do mine any time from late Feb to mid March, cutting them back to about 9 inches and then give them a generous dollop of clematis food and aliquid tonic of tomato food.  Here's the RHS advice - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=347 

    The Vendée, France
  • Richard HodsonRichard Hodson Posts: 614

    If you planted your Summer flowering clematis correctly you would have planted them about 6 inches deeper than they were in the pot.

    Then in February you would chop them right down to the floor, to encourage new stems from below ground.

  • And if I didnt?? Would you lift and plant deeper?? Bugger!!!!
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,675

    Not now as you may just end up disturbing and weakening the roots they have.  They go deep and are fleshy so easy to damage.   Give the plant a jolly good mulch of 3 to 4 inches of well rotted garden compost every spring to compensate for not planting them deeply.   Prune and feed as above before mulching.

    The Vendée, France
  • image I just followed the label instructions but there is a definite lot of twiggy at the base. Any other way of making them shoot up more at the base? Will mulch for sure
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,675

    In my experience, clematis can take a season or two to settle and get their roots down and then they'll take off producing more stems from the base every year.  If you mulch them in autumn when the upper growth has lost all its foliage and turned twiggy you don't have to worry about not mulching the old stems.   They'll be cut off in spring anyway and the new stems will come from the root as long as you get the feeding right.  Greedy plants, clematis..

    The Vendée, France
  • Richard HodsonRichard Hodson Posts: 614

    Personally, I would get the fork under them and lift them, making sure to get the whole rootball, then dig the hole deeper and replant, then give them a real good soak.

    Do you know which 2 cultivars they are ?

  • I always give my clematis, group 2 and 3, a Valentine chop. Nothing much else to do on the 14th!  I wouldn't dig up the clematis now you've planted it. See how it goes first. They are not that fussy and a mulch will definitely help.

     

    Obelixx -  I agree clematis take a year to settle down. 

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