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Bedfordshire, United Kingdom Gb

this year my group 3 clematis' have been producing new stems/foliage on last years growth over the last 3-4 weeks.can i still prune them hard ?.
last year i pruned hard down to about 8" above ground in late march...(no early growth tho!) and had fantastic display of flowers.
any answers would be much appreciated
many thanks



If you mean Prune group 3, then these should be pruned back to 6 or 8 inches by mid February. But if you did it this late last year, then it should be fine, you're only three weeks out. Advantage of doing it at the right time is all that new growth you're about to cut off won't happen, and the plant will push up new shoots and open out buds rapidly from the base, where you want it. Cutting it once growth has got going means the plant has to 'rethink' its strategy and redirect its energies. Next year, do it at the right time - can be done midwinter as well, I do mine after Christmas usually.

8 Mar, 2011


thanks bamboo....i'll do the same then this winter

8 Mar, 2011


I am in exactly the same position as Shadydappler with my clematis rouge cardinal (group 3), I only pruned it a little, about mid Feb, leaving a few feet of old wood, and on this lots of new growth has sprouted. Unlike Shadydappler, I bought the clematis new last spring, so have never had to decide when to prune or how far down. It seems a shame to take it back to 6-8" now, as I like the form it has on the wall, however will it not flower if I leave it ... must I prune it hard now to guarantee flowering? thanks, Vg

11 Mar, 2011


No, it will flower, Virgingardener, but the reason you should cut them down by mid February is, if you don't, all the growth appears at the top of the dead looking stems, and the flowers will be right up high, with bare, scraggly stems at the base. The older the unpruned plant, the more scraggly bare stem you'll be looking at... Leave it for this year if you like the way it looks, but make sure you do prune it back early next year.

12 Mar, 2011


Thanks Bamboo - I'm much relieved to hear my clematis will still flower this August. I'm not too bothered about the bare clematis stems lower down the wall, as I've planted foxgloves, lupins and campanula which should cover 3-4ft of the wall by summer, which I hope will hide all. I will take the clem back a bit lower down next Feb though. Thanks a million for your reassurance .... I just love this site! Vg x

13 Mar, 2011


i must add that although i pruned the 'triternata rubromarginata' hard back in late march the plant had masses of flowers but like 'bamboo' said the flowers would be quite high up.....and they were! you can see from one of my excellent knowledge/advice from bamboo.

13 Mar, 2011


Thanks, Shadydapple...;-))

14 Mar, 2011

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