Cut clematis correctly


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The pruning of the various Clematis species and varieties is at first glance quite complicated: While most large-flowered hybrids are easily pruned, most of the game species are barely cut. The most vigorous pruning requires the summer flowers under the clematis, such as the large group of Italian clematis (Clematis viticella varieties) and some summer flowering large-flowered hybrids such as the well-known variety 'Jackmanii'.

An indication of the correct cutting method gives the flowering time: All clematis, which only bloom from the middle to the end of June, carry the flowers exclusively on the new wood, ie on the shoots, which were created in the same year. If the plants already bloom in April or May, they are cultivars that formed their flower buds on the older shoots in the previous year. This group includes many wild species such as the alpine clematis (Clematis alpina) and the anemone clematis (Clematis montana). If your clematis flowers in May and June as well as in August and September, it is a frequent flowering Large-flowered hybrid. She wears the spring pile on the old wood and the summer pile on the new shoot.

Section 1: Easy cut as needed

This cleavage group includes all clematis that have already planted their flower buds in the past season. This is especially true of the Alpine Clematis (Clematis alpina) and the Anemone Clematis (Clematis montana). Both species and their varieties do not need a regular cut. But you can cut them if necessary - for example, if they have become too big or if their flowering declines with the years. The ideal time - even for a strong pruning - is the end of May, when the flowering is over. So the climbing plants have enough time until the next season to form new flowering plants.

Clematis wild species pruning

If desired, wild species and their varieties are cut back in leafy condition at the end of May after flowering. A slight pruning as shown in the drawing promotes the branching, with a strong pruning you can rejuvenate the plants

If you put the strongly growing anemone clematis (Clematis montana) on the hive, it can still be the case that you have to do without the flowers for a year. This is because the plants first put all the energy into the instinctual growth to compensate for the loss of substance as quickly as possible. It makes sense here a partial recut: First cut only half of the shoots close to the ground and cuts the next year the other half strongly back.

Section 2: cut back by half the shoot length

Almost all newer large-flowered Clematis hybrids bloom twice a year. In spring, similar to the wild species Clematis alpina and Clematis montana, the first flowers open on short side branches of the previous year's shoots. From the end of June, the climbing plants will bloom again on the new shoot. In many varieties, the flowers of the first pile are heavily filled and the summer flowers unfilled. In order to achieve a good balance between spring and summer flowering, a winter cut has proven itself to be half the length of shoot - so that enough of the previous year's shoot for spring blossoming is preserved. In addition, the new shoots through the pruning slightly stronger and delivers a more lush second flower florets.

Twice flowering large-flowered hybrids cut

In winter, the two-flowered Large-flowered Clematis hybrids are cut back to about half the instinct length

While the optimal cutting time was stated earlier in the middle to the end of February, Clematis experts such as Friedrich Manfred Westphal now recommend pruning the climbing shrubs of section group 2 in November or December. The reason is the increasingly milder winter. They cause the plants to drive out early in the season and a pruning in late winter is hardly possible without damaging the new shoots. In addition, the clematis hybrids withstand despite early cutback even a tougher winter easily.

The large-flowered hybrids are verging on and verging rather quickly compared to the wild species. Therefore, the twice-flowering varieties should be cut back to about 20 to 50 centimeters in late autumn about every five years in late autumn.

Section 3: Strong pruning

The varieties of Italian clematis (Clematis viticella) bloom as well as some large-flowered hybrids exclusively on the new shoots. Also some wild species such as the gold-clematis (Clematis tangutica), the breeding forms of the Texan clematis (Clematis texensis) as well as all perennial clematis (for example Clematis integrifolia) are pure summer bloomers.They are all cut back very sharply in November or December to encourage the formation of long new shoots with numerous large flowers. It is enough if only 30 to 50 centimeters remain of each main drive. If you abandon the pruning, the summer-flowering clematis quickly grow pale and become lazy after only a few years.

Cutting Italian clematis

The pure summer flowers among the clematis need a strong pruning each year in late autumn

Construction section for new clematis

Many hobby gardeners have scruples to cut back their newly planted clematis. Nevertheless, it is urgently recommended to trim each new clematis in the late autumn of the planting year to 20 to 30 centimeters high - even if you have to do without the spring bloom in some wild species and hybrids next year. So the plants branch out better and build up much wider and stronger.

Video Board: CLEMATIS - How to prune.

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