Return to the Clematis Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Courage to prune

Posted by lennon2 Rhode Island (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 7, 09 at 14:21

Failed-flowers newbie question:

My yard has clematis growing 12-15 feet long over an arbor and along the top of a tall fence, with almost no blooms, since I didn't know which variety they were. I've concluded they must be group 3, so I'm going to prune.

But the trunks near the ground are the thickness of my thumb, and branching. Do I cut way down to 12 inches from the ground on these main trunks, or 10-12 inches up the assorted branches?

There is a tangle of vines from previous years, of course, but letting them do their own thing last year just produced foliage.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Courage to prune

A conservative approach since you don't know the type of clematis you have would be to prune half of the older thick stems back to within 12 inches of the ground. Prune the other half back to three feet or so. If the more severe pruned stems don't resprout, then you still have the other stems to produce more growth.

I would then make sure to fertilize the plants in early spring with a good fertilizer that is balanced or has a slightly higher second number (phosphorus content) since it stimulates root development and flower production.


 o
RE: Courage to prune

Thanks for the quick reply, Nick. Any harm in cutting them all at 3 feet? There are only 3 main trunks, with myriad branching starting around the 5-foot level.

Should I cut them now? Put anything on the cuts?


 o
RE: Courage to prune

Nope nothing is needed on the cut stems of clematis. If you want to try 3 feet or so, then go for it. All of my clematis were cut back in December and early January. Now should probably be fine to cut them back.

Let us see pictures when it finally blooms. Perhaps we can help with the id of it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Clematis Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here