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By jangue


Although I have been a member on this brilliant site for over a year I haven’t really participated – just enjoyed the blogs, reading through the questions and learning more about the joys of gardening.

Everyone is so friendly so I have no idea why I have felt unable to join in, either with blogs or asking questions. I suppose the concept of chatting on line feels a bit weird – is it a case of the more you do it, the more you feel comfortable with it?

Anyway, now I have taken the plunge I need some advice about a particular disease I think I have – its antiprunitis!

To explain – I have become really interested in gardening over the last couple of years and have become extremely good at buying plants! Whether they suit my soil, climate, position doesn’t come into it. I like something and I convince myself it will thrive in my garden so I buy it. (I have got a bit better and learnt a few lessons over the 2 years!)

Anyway, now I have acquired quite a few plants and enjoyed planting them, nurturing them and watching them grow – with a fair few successes I am pleased to say . However, I am embarrassed to say that I am absolutely scared to death of touching any of them for fear of doing the wrong thing

I have half a dozen clematis where I have lost the labels and have no idea which ones I need to leave alone till spring, which ones I should cut off a few stems (but where and how much) and those I should be hacking back to ground level. I know Spritz has done a great blog on clematis which is brilliant if you are clever and keep the labels!

I wander round the garden every evening thinking that I should be doing something to those plants that have finished flowering. I look at books, I obviously check out GOY but something stops me from actually getting out the secataurs and going for it

Are there any other gardeners out there who dread pruning or any experts who can tell me that whatever I do, the plants will most likely survive?!

Probably the only answer is to start posting photos for ID as well as asking questions on those plants that I actually DID manage to remember the
name of or keep labels and let the lovely people on GOY help cure my disease!

More blog posts by jangue

Previous post: My afternoon at Spritzhenry's garden



If you know how to put up photos I bet they'll be instantly recognized by at least a few GOY members....there are a few keen clematis growers so you should get some really good replies.

I'm pleased you were able to post a's not so difficult now that you've done the first'll be a pro in no time. Good for you, Jangue. :)

5 Oct, 2010


I always prune things too much. They usually grow back though so never mind.
Yes it's strange talking to people like this at first, but as you say you get used to it.
And writing a blog is nervewracking lol. I still get anxious every time I do one.
I hope you get round to posting some photos, and identifying your clematis.

6 Oct, 2010


If you can't get them identified, I understand that when Clematis bloom is a big clue to how they should be pruned:

If they give one big blast of flowers in the spring, and no others, then they should be pruned immediately after bloom, to give them time to form the buds for next spring.

If they bloom off and on summer through early fall, they bloom on new growth, and can be pruned heavily in early spring.

A combination of the two blooming habits can make things more complicated, and should be referred to a true expert, not a "Clematis kibbitzer" like myself!

For pruning other plants, watching the life cycles over a year or two will also tell you how to deal with them. If you can find an old copy of the Sunset Pruning Handbook, by Lane Publishers, it is incredibly informative about pruning techniques and timing for a wide variety of plants. Sadly, it is no longer in print. Hope this helps, Jangue!

6 Oct, 2010


'Antiprunitis' - I like it!

I must admit I'm the other way ... it's a case of "do or die" with me, I'm a neat freak :)

6 Oct, 2010


Tuqbrethil is right, although it may not be necessary to prune at all the varieties which flower only once in the spring.

6 Oct, 2010


The general rule with Clematis is.... If it flowers early leave it alone and if it flowers late cut it back. If you are worried why not cut it half way?
Most plants survive, at worst you may miss one years blooms. If you kill it buy something else. Make a note of your successes.

6 Oct, 2010


Loved your blog I am new to gardening too and I am unsure what needs to be cut back and when and I am afraid to admit that I had lopitis and secateurfever at the weekend which is the complete opposite of your ailment hope our plants survive!

6 Oct, 2010


Well done on posting your first blog Janque. That's the worst bit over, it really does get easier the more you do although you never can tell what will be popular and what won't! As for pruning, I found that the diagrams in books never seem to match up with my plants! Generally speaking I think that the worst that can happen is that if you prune at the wrong time you won't get any flowers the next year. :o((

6 Oct, 2010


Thanks for all your encouraging comments and advice. I particularly like the idea of cutting half way - sort of hedging my bets!!

I will definitely try and be brave with some of my plants - like you say, the worst that can happen is I get no flowers next year!

6 Oct, 2010


Janque - I posted two blogs way back befoe you joined (January 2008) about pruning. If you go to my home age and read them, I hope they will give you the confidence to know what you are doing and when it shoud be done

6 Oct, 2010


Janque/Andrew....I just looked in the GYOpedia and your advice is there...under "P"..."pruning".

The first link is

There is also a part 2 which you will be able to find yourself via GOYpedia at the bottom of most pages...and lots of other advice about pruning too. Good luck!

Andrew....didn't mean to elbow in but thought the link might help.

6 Oct, 2010


Thank you both - I will have a look at the weekend

7 Oct, 2010


No problem Whistonlass. Glad it's easily accessible

7 Oct, 2010

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