One of the questions most often asked at the garden center relates to the pruning of clematis vines. It can be a somewhat confusing topic. This confusion arises from the fact that there are different types of clematis, each requiring different pruning styles. Within the three pruning categories, botanists break things down into sub-groups and the waters become even muddier. Considering that there are hundreds of available varieties of clematis, the topic can get quite overwhelming for the person who just wants a pretty rambling vine to grow over the walkway arbor.If you plant a new clematis vine and it suddenly wilts before it really takes off, do not assume it has died. This is a problem known as “clematis wilt” and is a very common occurrence. Cut the whole thing off to about the second bud. New growth will come up from the base. Keep the slugs and earwigs away until it is up and running. Clematis will respond to lots of good organic fertilizer and water, but cannot tolerate poor drainage. Give each vine at least four or five hours of sun a day and keep the roots cool. They are somewhat fragile getting started, but once it finds its feet, the clematis vine is practically bomb- proof.
If you’d like to learn the specifics of pruning Clematis, visit our Expert Advice Article, Simply Clematis.
Photo Credit: Clematis jackmanii, By Scott S Emberley (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons