When should I cut back Clematis?

Clematis crystal fountain

Are you clearing up and the garden and thinking about cutting back Clematis? Autumn is traditionally clear up time in the garden. How much you clear up is up to you. Somegardeners like to clear the garden in August, get rid of all the weeds and cut back perennials. Other gardeners may prefer a less structured look and leave more for the wildlife. 

But whatever type of gardener you are don't cut back the Clematis, even if it is looking straggly, brown and not very attractive.

It may be tempting, as part of the autumn tidy up, to cut back all the dead wood on the Clematis, but now is not the time. 

The time to prune Clematis is February. Don't be tempted to do it in the autumn as it will impede flowering the next year. February is the window and choose a time when there is no frost present or forecast.

Only prune Group 2 & 3 Clematis, not group 1.

It may seem a bit counter intuitive as by February there will be lots of top growth, and some of it will have new shoots on it. Don't worry, Clematis are vigorous and cutting off what appears to be a lot of fresh growth in February will not prevent a good flower show.

Some questions?

How do I know which type of Clematis I have ? A Sunday Gardener video explains Groups 1, 2 and 3 Clematis.  

Videos: How to prune group 2 and group 3 Clematis

All you need to know about growing Clematis including Clematis wilt.



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