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Pruning Clematis Montana

Now the leaves have all come down from my apple and Rhus tree I can see how big my Clematis Montana is!  Sadly when it flowered, all the flowers seem to face my neighbours garden and I would like to retrain it so I can see more flowers in my garden.  All the sites I have looked at say to cut it back after flowering, but has anyone cut theirs back at this time of year???  What might happen if I do - I would hate to lose it but it really does need trimming.  I don't want to cut it back to the base, just take all the growth off at the top of the trees.

Any advice please?




  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,908

    I'd do it on a fine dry day in the winter when it has no leaves. They will stand a hefty chop without any problems. The only slight risk is that it will be infected by a fungal disease but it's a very slim chance. Choosing a dry, sunny day will minimise that.

    As far as getting it to flower on your side rather than on your neighbours'.... It's a well known fact that all flowering plants face the way they aren't supposed to. I have a lovely Clematis Niobe, courtesy of my neighbour and she enjoyed my climbing rose this summer.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Montana flowers on the previous year's growth, so I'm sure you can cut it now if you don't mind losing next years flowers, although I've never done it at this time of year myself, so can't vouch that it will be trouble free.  I cut mine almost to the ground every three years, but straight after flowering.  That way I've enjoyed that year's flowers, and the growth it puts on for the rest of the year will flower the next spring.

    I also grow Grandiflora, and can't bear a single spring without the flowers, that's why I prune after flowering. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,124

    Grandiflora is lovely Verd. The problem with Montanas is that they often have flowers later on in the year too, so it can put people off pruning in early summer which is really the best time. If it's really out of hand, you just have to bite the bullet and get it chopped, and accept that you may not have the flowers in spring. It does depend on climate though - I would definitely get none if I pruned now!

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you all so much for your replies - I will bite the bullet and cut it back when the leaves have gone - and I may just have to get a Grandiflora - they look amazing!

  • Tetley, do you not prune your Montana at all after it's spring flowering?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,124

    Tetley - I think Verd needs to move to Scotland for a while so that he can experience gardening in 'real conditions' for a while....image

    Naughty fairy image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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