Prune clematis

Groups two and three will benefit from a chop now

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Clematis is one of the most popular climbers that we plant in our gardens They’re grown for their wonderful displays of flowers, which are often followed by fabulous seed heads through autumn and winter. As a group of plants, clematis come in many shapes, sizes and colours and by choosing several different species for your garden, it’s possible to have flowers for much of the year. 

Pruning can confuse some people, but as long as you know what group of clematis you are growing, or what time of the year it flowers, you can easily work out when and how to prune.  

Group one clematis flower from early to late spring and usually have small flowers that are produced on last year’s growth. This type isn’t pruned now as you’d be cutting off the flowering wood. Any pruning should wait until after flowering in late spring. Group two flower in early summer, from late May to July, on side shoots from a framework of branches. They can be pruned now by reducing growth back to fat buds lower down the plant.  Group three are the late summer flowering types and they can be hard pruned now to within 15-30cm (6-12in) of the ground. Flowers will develop in late summer and early autumn on the long new shoots.