Will I kill my sweet autumn clematis if I prune it now?

lindarenee(a5 Ohio)November 10, 2012

I know I'm supposed to prune this clematis in early spring but it never gets done and it's out of control. It grows up a pole supporting my deck and onto the deck railing. The deck floor is about 7 feet from the ground and then it grows up another 4 ft. to the top of the rail and spreads in both directions. The problem is the pole is near my walk-in garage door and the large stalks are beginning to look like tarzan vines looping out from the pole where they broke out of their ties. The vine is probably 20 years old or more. I'm in the mood to tame it now but I sure would miss it if I killed it. Thanks, Linda, Ohio zone 5a

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Considering its a clematis suitable for winter zones as well as the warmer ones and can expect to be hit by snow, I cant see why it cant be cut back --at least somewhat--to prevent heavy snow bringing it down.
So, go ahead cut it back as you wish as long as you feel lthe plant has hardened off for winter.
But as you said its still has buds and last remnants of flowers, I'd wait until after a hard frost before cutting it back.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:30AM
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lindarenee(a5 Ohio)

Thanks for the advice!!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:00AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Once the plant goes dormant and the cold weather has arrived for keeps, usually by the end of Nov. here, I cut my type three clematis back. Sweet Autumn is a type 3 clematis.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I have a monster that's 5 years old. I have a difficult time imagining anything I could do to it that would kill it.

Once I had a old rusty iron basket ball goal post beside the driveway. Now I have a sweet autumn clematis about 4 ft in diameter and as tall as a basketball post. But I will wait till February or early March to hack on it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:34AM
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