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About pruning


By Kerri

Renfrewshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have several clematis in my garden and not sure what type they are as am in new home. How do I figure out how and when to prune? Also have a very large fatsia more than 8 feet high. It is rather taking over. How and when do I prune it?



Dear Kerri
Regarding Clematis, pruning can get as complicated as you allow it to. The usual recommended method is to prune Spring flowering plants in the late Spring or early Summer. Summer flowering varieties should be hard pruned in the Winter.
I have found this quite difficult as some of my plants which are supposed to flower in the Summer have actually flowered in the Spring. Also I object to cutting a Clematis back to the condition it was when I bought it, let alone unwinding all the tendrils that have carefully wound themselves around the supports.
Eventually, I have decided to prune only to correct the shape, in both Spring and Summer flowering types after flowering. Any stems that have deteriorated can be cut back to a couple of shoots above the base at that time.
Always cut back to healthy buds and use a sharp pair of secateurs. Crushing the stems when cutting can encourage disease.
Another important thing is to ensure that while the upper part of the plant gets plenty of sun, the roots should be shaded and this can be achieved by applying a thick layer of compost in the early Spring or planting small shrubs that will shade the roots.
Regarding Fatsia, it can be cut back hard in Winter/early Spring to remove overgrown stems. Look for new shoots at the base of the plant and be careful not to damage them.
Hope this helps.

13 Sep, 2008


Dear Kerri,
Great answer from Bernard, I could only add that as you do not know which variety they are and with our mild climate, cut back after flowering to your own required effect.
Our Montanas have a habit of flowering twice, early May and October.

13 Sep, 2008


Dear Bernard thank you for your advice I will keep that in mind as there are some seedheads still on the clematis they may well be late . So I will cut them back quite soon when it dries up, if ever. Hopefully once I get the fatsia under control I will be able to see more of my garden. Kerri

14 Sep, 2008


Kerri - if you look through the archives, I wrote two blogs on pruning earlier this year which you may find helpful

14 Sep, 2008


Hi Andrew thank you for the advice. I have printed them off and will find them very helpful when it dries up enough to let me in the garden. Kerri

17 Sep, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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