Clematis pruning made simple

One of our best-loved climbers is the deliciously frothy clematis, at its best scrambling through roses or smothering a fence with an ocean of flowers. You'll find a clematis for every month of the year in our garden centre in Holt, but there's often confusion over when to prune them.

Don't worry: it's actually quite simple. All you need to know is roughly when your clematis flowers, and then you can follow our straightforward guide.

Don't prune:early-flowering clematis like C. alpina, C. armandii, C. cirrhosa, C. montana

If they're getting too big and need trimming back, do it just after they finish flowering in late spring: otherwise, don't touch

Prune in February:
large-flowered clematis flowering in May and June, like 'Barbara Jackman' and 'Nelly Moser' light pruning to remove dead or weak stems down to a strong pair of healthy buds. If your plants are getting too big, cut them back harder late summer, after they've finished flowering and clematis that flower late, such as 'Etoile Violette', 'Gravetye Beauty' and C. viticella cut hard back to about 15cm above ground level, always cutting to just above a healthy bud.

Please ask the staff in our Holt garden centre for more information and advice about how to prune clematis.

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