Prune with sharp garden shears, 0.5-1 cm above the set of two healthy leaf buds. Always remove all withered leaves and either whole stems or just the parts that died down (e.g. because of freezing).
During the first year all clematis should be cut not higher than 30 cm from the base, to encourage the growth of new stems at the base of the vine. Similar, or even better result can be obtained by laying the stems flat on the ground and covering them with mulch, just as you did when planting clematis. It will foster the strength of the plants and thus ensure better flowering and higher immunity to diseases. In subsequent years, pruning depends on the variety and the season in which it blooms. (refer to the last column in a catalogue chart and drawing 1 and drawing 2).
When it comes to pruning, clematis can be roughly divided into three groups, which we'll call
1 (none), 2 (light) and 3 (hard).
Notice: By December 2004 we have adopted an international classification of clematis pruning groups. Pruning group 1 corresponds to the former group C, group 2 to the former group A, group 3 to the former group B.
Group 1 (none)- are varieties that flower only on growth produced the previous year: . They are generally not pruned at all, but if it is necessary to prune some overgrowth, cut immediately after flowering, usually not lower than 1 m above the ground.
Popular varieties which should not be pruned:
Group 2 (light) - are the large-flowered varieties that begin to bloom in May or early June with the first flush of flowers appearing on the previous year's growth, followed by a smaller flush on new growth. Pruning should consist of cutting shoots at a height of 100-150 cm from the base (the younger a plant the lower it should be cut). This is a safe way of pruning if we are unsure which category our plant falls into.
Popular varieties which should be pruned at a height of 100-150 cm:
- Clematis 'Beautiful Bride' PBR
- Clematis 'Blue Light'
- Clematis 'Doctor Ruppel'
- Clematis 'Jan Paweł II' JOHN PAUL II
- Clematis 'Multi Blue'
- Clematis 'Nelly Moser'
- Clematis 'Niobe'
- Clematis 'The President'
- Clematis 'Warszawska Nike'
- Clematis 'William Kennett'
- Clematis 'Xerxes'
Group 3 (hard) - are later flowering species and varieties that bloom on new growth from the end of June to July e.g. cultivars from and . These should be hard pruned above second or third set of the buds, 20-50 cm from the ground. This pruning pattern should also be applied to vigorous vines if you want to reduce their growth: . As for herbaceous perennial clematis and cultivars from Texensis Group remove all dead stems just above the base, cut the rest 5-10 cm above the ground.
Popular varieties which should be pruned at a height of 20-50 cm:
- Clematis 'Błękitny Anioł' BLUE ANGEL
- Clematis 'Comtesse de Bouchaud'
- Clematis 'Etoile Violette'
- Clematis 'Jackmanii'
- Clematis 'Krakowiak' PINK MINK
- Clematis 'Mme Julia Correvon'
- Clematis 'Prince Charles'
- Clematis 'Princess Diana'
- Clematis 'Romantika'
- Clematis 'Rouge Cardinal'
- Clematis 'Sweet Summer Love'PBR
- Clematis 'Venosa Violacea'
- Clematis crispa
- Clematis fusca
- Clematis x triternata 'Rubromarginata'