Spring Pruning Clematis, an easy visual lesson on how and where to clip with free video. Give your clematis a fresh, clean start for the new season.
Spring pruning clematis is one of the first garden chores of the new season I get to do and it is so rewarding. For general growing information for clematis just CLICK HERE.
No time now? PIN for Later
Doing an early garden inspection to see what is emerging can reveal that your clematis is budding but looking rather messy with all the old bits still clinging on.
NOTE: This is a category 2 clematis (pruning) that blooms on both old and new wood.
Time to give it needed some TLC. (If you want to read how to completely refurbish an overgrown clematis CLICK HERE.
Get your pruners and get to work. Start from the top and work downward. Much of it is quite brittle so take care and be gentle. Here is a nice fat bud erupting from the vine.
(this particular method also works for pruning group 1 Clematis which typically bloom earlier than group 2. Group 1 bloom on old wood only)
It has more vine above it but it is not actively growing and the side tendrils too are dried up.
I take my pruners and cut all that dried up stuff back. Sometimes I have to gently separate vines that are wrapping around each other.
I remove the dead leaves as well. It is looking tidier already but there is nothing to help keep it tied up to the trellis. This is where some strips of old pantyhose can come in handy like I use when tying up my climbing roses, I show them in this post. CLICK HERE
This is a good time to decide how you want to train your clematis and tie it up as you wish it to grow.
I just wrapped mine about the trellis. I may come back in and decide to do a harder prune on one of the vines coming from the ground.
When I looked closely I have 5 main vines coming up from the roots. The areas I know will bloom are much higher up the trellis. I can choose one vine and decide to cut it back to about 12 inches from the ground to encourage blooms lower on the trellis. Since I have other flowers growing around my clematis base that could be a waste since those blooms may not be that visible.
This light prune cleans up the clematis for bloom time and gives you a chance to really look closely and make sure all is healthy and good to go. Before you know it your clematis will be filled with glorious blooms and be tidy too.
Here is the video and about halfway through I share another way (easier) to prune a group 2 clematis and at the end it compares the two clematis, one pruned like I did in this post and the other is the alternate method that is even easier. You will be amazed at the comparison!
Want to know more about Clematis, just check out some of the posts linked below!