Should I prune now?

ditasJuly 3, 2011

Hi ~ I've never attempted to prune-hard, after the first surge of blooms in the month of June. Snow Queen & Cezanne are done & showed signs of the famous periodic hot summer wilt, while the others are still putting out a few here & there, they seem tired looking.

My ?? ~ will they benefit from hard pruning in mid season? Will the twines still have time to grow & fill out for Fall blooms?

Not knowing any better, I've always left them looking dried up ~ clean up some when I could & they usually bloom again after Aug when days get cooler again.

Your thought will be greatly appreciated!

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, they will benefit especially if you fertilize and keep them well watered. At least they always do for me.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:49PM
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idixierose(z8b Coastal SC)

This may be heresy, but I have pruned large flowering clematis in mid-summer and within a month they were blooming again. One year I cut HF Young and Belle of Woking back a couple of times, and again, they both bloomed within a month.

My garden is about 50 miles south of Charleston SC and we have a very long growing season.

I felt a little unsure about cutting them, but afterward, they sure looked a lot better and they bloomed heavily.

Right now my Belle of Woking has lots of dry, brown leaves on some of the vines, which makes the overall plant look ratty. It's almost impossible to remove the dry leaves, so I've been thinking about cutting the whole mess down.

I do feed and water the clematis regularly. They get the same goodies My roses get -- Mills Mix, compost, seaweed tonic, fungicide, etc.

Anyone who grows clematis in the South, please share your thoughts on mid-summer pruning.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 6:29PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Not heresy. Pruning benefits Clematis. Many of us prune them in summer after pruning once in spring.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 6:40PM
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Thank you so much for giving me what I needed to here to brave what I've never done in the past.

Last Friday I spent a couple of hours Cleaning up Ramona - when I could have just pruned her down. It was worse than working w/ huge KO rose bushes in early Spring, as I feared clipping a perfectly live leafing vine instead of the truly dried or wilting ones. Tomorrow I shall be out there w/ my tools of engagement & take on all 6 Clems, fearlessly w/ abandon!

Again TIA Bos & idixierose ~ by any chance you grow any of the OSO Easy Rose series?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:36AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I grow three of the Knockout roses but not OSO Easy

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:22PM
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I came to the site today with roughly the same question and was happy to see this post. My question was: several of my clematis didn't get pruned at all this spring; I just overlooked them; so would it be OK to prune hard now? I assume the answer is yes. Thanks for all the tips here. Gary

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:25PM
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I was successful braving pruning 3 even if Ramona started getting better & throwing up some twines w/ smaller foliage & smaller blooms as well! Josephine & Cezanne was an easier task as their troubles were a bit more pronounced.

However I'm not finding it easy to deal w/ my feelings about chopping down Snow Queen & Marie Boisellot as they are producing reasonable buds after a very short rest. I've just clipped all their nest-like floral remnants & will wait a day or 2 after the buds open before the gillotine comes down ~ sigh!

BTW about Roses ~ I just got 4 babies of OSO Easy PW Rose series & feel like B'Day & Christmas in Jun after waiting 4 years for them!!! (Sorry posting it here ... I'm just too excited!)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:10PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

There is no reason to prune them if they are already blooming...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:46PM
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I always pruned my Cezanne after the first flush of blooms was done. Most years, the second bloom was larger than the first when doing this. Cezanne is a great clematis. I miss mine very much. If I run across another one locally, it WILL be mine. :>)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Hi matt - thanks for your input ~ I did prune Cezanne a few weeks back as soon as the famous heat-wilt progressed ~ just now waiting for signs of bounce-back! What happened to your Cez?

BoS ~ I just posted to thread *Who's eating my Clematis?* that I went ahead & pruned SQ Clem ~ on checking the few newly opened blooms ~ they were very small & cut-out into lace-like doilies by some night munchers. I'll have to do the same w/ M Boisellot at sunset as both are being attacked & what's more good signs of wilting has started from the top on a few leaves/twines. I was holding off the suggested pruning, due to the few resurgence of buds as did Ramona. I do feel better now that the task is done! Thanks for the reassurance!

I wonder tho why my old *Blue Bell* do not suffer the way these 6 larger bloom-Clems do?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Hi ~ it's me again ~ I forgot to ask how close a prune is *hard prune*? I was so scared pruning that I left a good 18-20 inch-base twines/canes ~ would that do or should I go even closer to the ground? I don't want them to start sprouting only to have weak twines & poor overall Clem vines.

Many thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 11:21AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I prune closer to the ground.

Dang earwigs chomp into buds and then the flowers open with holes. Very annoying.

If you are asking about 'Blue Bell' not 'Blue Belle' it is because she is an integrifolia and they don't wilt.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 1:29PM
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Thanks BoS ~ I'll promptly march out there w/ tools of engagement & be braver!!! Sorry I posted the ? again in another recent thread.

Thanks for the patience with us ~ old newbies!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Hi again BoS ~ Here are this season's pix of my 12y/o that survived w/ much neglected over the years & crawled all over the area until I sequestered him in a wire cage in early Spring. He has filled & poured out of the 2ft high cage. I wonder what I should do for him to look better?

I pulled his tag from my file & indeed he is Clem.Integrifolia 'Caerulea' the pic does not match & the size spec. says 1-2' Hgt 2-3' spread.

I'm just now learning as much as I can about Clems! Many thanks for your help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Bell ?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 10:30PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

All of my integrifolias have exceeded the growth on their tags. All of mine exceed their cages too when I try to cage them. I find they look better draped over shrubs IF they can do so without smothering them. Some of mine are too thick and heavy. Petite Faucon is a monster. I've switched it to a bigger wire cage three times and it still reaches the top and spills out and looks like a heavy mess rather than a gorgeous fountain of bloom.

I spoke to a lady at an open garden tour because some of hers were crawling through the other plants so nicely. She said she digs up and divides hers to keep them in control.

I love the easy care of integrifolias. Just whack off at ground level if they haven't died back on their own and never wilt though some of mine get mildew. But, I have not figured out the best way to display them....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Ament(5a SD)

Oy, I just bought a Firecracker and wow is it all wrapped up terribly on this spindly little two stick bamboo deal they sold it on. Terrible trellis really. This clematis has one seed pod on it and one bloom unopened. I am wondering, should I untangle this girl a bit, allow her to bloom the one bloom on her and then prune her hard after that or should I just untangle the girl now and prune hard now?

When I bought her, I dug a hole about two and a half feet wider around than the pot, at least a foot and a half deeper than the pot, put in good potting soil mixed with the soil that was in the hole then I took the clematis out of the pot and discovered she was quite root bound, so I loosened up the bottom roots just a bit so she could spread her feet in the new soil, put her in the new location and deep watered her. I've deep watered several times now since it's so dratted hot here in SD. I am unsure if I should put rose fertilizer out around this girl or not right now either.

Any help with this would be spectacular, this is my very first Clem, I'm in love with them just from all the wonderful images everyone has shared. Of which I thank you all for doing!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:49AM
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Since my Nelly Moser has had only ONE BLOOM this entire summer and isn't growing either, should I prune it also, to maybe stimulate some action? IF I should prune it, how far down should I prune it from its present 5' height?

Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 6:19PM
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T'is nearly a month since daring the *holding breath*-cut down of all my senior Clems (-SA) ~ hurray! ~ they are all racing, on who's gonna get to habit hgts first ~ even Josephine who had a difficult time deciding if she's even joining or not, has come around ~ still short but surely!!! The Heat-wave was a challenge but water, water, water kept their cool ~ particularly those w/ roots shaded by companion plants!

Thank you so much for this new learning experience quoting Darenka from Germany ~ *I didn't know the depths of my ignorance until I stumbled into this forum!*

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:15PM
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This is a Happy Update ~ Snow Queen, Marie B, Cezanne & Ramona (1st to open buds) are all budded alto vines are still young!

It took a bit longer than others' reassurances ~ perhaps stunted by 3 weeks of heat-wave & fear of over fertilizing!

Thank you so much I would be a bit more secure next season. However I might have almost lost Josephine who suffered the most from Iron def - has come around just a tiny baby yet but alive!!! She was planted in 2001 & surrounded by Rose bushes & prairie plants + Hydrangea ~ I fed w/ coffee & Al Sulf - & no longer will from here on.

Again many thanks bos888!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Just wish to repeat the thanks for the support & reassurances I received ~ all these pretty ladies on vines bloomed beautifully (except Josephine), but alas some critters - not the JBs that love rose petals, decorated the pretty blossoms over-night w/ holes ~ sigh.

DK if they are earwigs - I've seen a few around but not on the blossoms & not as plentiful as some years back! But I'm still glad I learned something new in this forum!

I did make a mistake I promised never to make (on a new acquisition I potted) ~ clipping browned foliage & thoughtlessly clipped the live vine! Fortunately Comtesse de Bouchaud is now leafing out ~ whew!!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 4:54PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

There is nothing wrong with pruning back newly potted or planted Clematis. I chop all of mine down on purpose. It helps them.

To see earwigs go outside at night with a flashlight.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:13PM
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I've seen these tiny horned critters hiding in the folds of young top leaves of my hydrangeas ~ before sunrise grrrr #$%&*%$ when I take my tiny pooch out!

I've used wet rolled up newspapers around where they love to hide as well but still damages are done tho not as bad as JBs do to rose petals. As I said not as bad as in some past seasons ~ they seem to love Marie Boisellot - the prettier of the 2 whites I have & Cezanne ~ sigh!!!

Thanks for yet another tip about pruning new acquisitions!!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:56AM
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