Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The time and way you prune your clematis depends on what kind it is.  They are divided into three pruning schedules, and the schedules are determined by their bloom time.  I have several clematis and they are all on pruning schedule #2 except one, and it is on pruning schedule #1.  Most of the clematis I've seen are in these two bloom schedules.  The clematis on the #1 schedule produces their flowers directly from old stems.  You shouldn't prune these clematis until all flowering is complete; they finish their blooming in the late summer or early fall.  So, right after they flower in the fall, remove all dead wood or weak stems.  After you prune, new growth starts--and that will be the stems for next years growth. But the schedule I want to focus on are the clematis that we are pruning right now:  #2 schedules should be pruned in early spring.  I pruned mine yesterday.  Watch for the swelling of the little buds, or leaflets that are beginning to burst into leaves.  Cut off all dead wood, or damaged stems above those buds, as you see in my picture.  Tie the new growth to your trellis, or whatever you have them growing on.  Be sure you don't tie them too tightly, because you don't want to hamper their growth, or crack the vine.  If you happen to have a clematis that has pruning schedule #3, they can be pruned now as well.  Prune to about 6-8 inches every spring.  When you purchase your clematis plants, they will be marked as to their prune schedule.  Remember that clematis roots like moist shade, their vines love sun, so plan something at the base of your plants, or provide a mulch to protect the roots and keep them cool.  In times of drought or dry spells, provide a nice soaking once a week.  They like to be planted on trellis', shrubs, trees, walls, and fences.  This year I ordered one that actually does well in shade to part shade, which is quite rare; it's name is SILVER MOON.  I am going to plant it at the base of my Chinese Wisteria, since it's only bloomed once in 8 or 9 years, because it doesn't get enough light where it's planted.  The clematis will grow up through the wisteria, with 6-8" blooms of light silver-blue flowers.  Although they can be hard to start, once established, clematis are hardy and prolific.  They are wonderful perennials for your flower beds!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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