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Pruning my clematis

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VeronicaMary View Drop Down
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  Quote VeronicaMary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pruning my clematis
    Posted: 20 Sep 2008 at 1:38pm
Hi all
 
The time has come (I feel) to do my 'down to the ground' prune job!  The few clematis that I 'hacked down' last month, are all shooting up from the earth, beautifully.  Will it be alright to do it to the rest now, which is what I would like to do, or will they be killed off in the winter.....keeping in mind that I live in the South-West (Wiltshire) and frost or snow seems to be a thing of the past??  I have around another 60 large flowered and viticellas to prune, please help?
 
kind regards
Veronica
Kind regards
Veronica
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Peter Gooch View Drop Down
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  Quote Peter Gooch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008 at 9:13am
Hi Veronica,
 
It seems i'm the only person here on the forum who is offering any help at the moment, where has everyone gone?
 
I would be a little conserned to be pruning any clematis right to the ground at any time of the year, even the viticella types.  If you leave just 12" - 18" of growth then you will find that they over winter more happily, regardless of the weather and they will have more material from which to shoot out and give you more stems from which to flower.
I would normally say that if you cut the light prune cultivars(Hybrids) to about the highest point at which you want then to regrow next year now, this will remove the big 'birds nest' from the top of the plant and make it look a lot more tidy for the winter. Then you can prune them to the frame work you wish them to have, in feb/march.
For the hard prune types you can prune them all off at around 2' - 3' now, to remove the worst of the offensive mess left from the summer and then they can be properly hard pruned to about 12" - 18" in feb/march.
 
I hope this helps.
 
Peter
Peter Gooch
Thorncroft Clematis Nursery
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VeronicaMary View Drop Down
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  Quote VeronicaMary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008 at 9:25am
Hi Peter
 
You are right, I have been looking out for any help and you are the first and only, thank you very much.
 
I will take your advice, at least it will tidy up the mess, I'm afraid that the pruning has been neglected for a few years hence the need to get down to the 'roots' now!
 
Once again, thank you
Veronica
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Veronica
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2ManyClematis View Drop Down
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  Quote 2ManyClematis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2008 at 1:43pm
Veronica
 
At the risk of contradicting Peter who clearly knows far more about it than I do, can I mention that in John Howells' book on the viticellas the author argues that pruning them down to soil level is the way forward?  I have followed this advice with good results.
 
I wonder though whether there is some advantage in leaving it until later in the year.  I read on one internet forum that nutrients are drawn down into the roots as the plants go into dormancy.  If this is true then I imagine that pruning them too early would deprive the plant of some of those nutrients.
 
Kind regards
 
Huw
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VeronicaMary View Drop Down
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  Quote VeronicaMary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2008 at 10:20am
Huw
 
Thank you for your advice, at the risk of losing some of my clematis, it is worth trying anything and everything isn't it?  Although I like to nurture all my plants, at the end of the day they can be easily replaced.
 
Kind regards
Veronica
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Veronica
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digger View Drop Down
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  Quote digger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2008 at 6:42pm
Originally posted by Peter Gooch

Hi Veronica,
 
It seems i'm the only person here on the forum who is offering any help at the moment, where has everyone gone?
 
 
Peter
Hello peter I've been asleep since Harrogate show!Big%20smile
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Peter Gooch View Drop Down
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  Quote Peter Gooch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2008 at 8:58am
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! (silly childish grin on face!)
Hi Digger, (I hope you enjoyed your sleep)! LOL
 
Thanks to all for your input. 
I like to think that the advice we give is thought about by those we give it to carefully and then that they do as they see fit.
I have to say that there are an awfull lot of people who prune their viticella to the ground each year and have great success, so I think we each have our own prefered methods, with results that are often hard to destinguish.
You could try the two methods and we would be really pleased to hear the results.Smile
 
Peter


Edited by Peter Gooch - 26 Sep 2008 at 9:01am
Peter Gooch
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schristmas View Drop Down
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  Quote schristmas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2008 at 11:00pm
Hi everyone,
 
Back from my summer hols.
 
Thanks Peter and Digger for holding the fort.
 
My wifes personal preference is to half prune in early winter as she hates the brown tangled mess they leave behind. Then hard prune in late Feb.
My preference is the do absolutely nothing approach until late Feb and then hack the lot down to 6".
As the task of pruning falls to me, the latter option usually wins!
 
Steve.
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digger View Drop Down
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  Quote digger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2008 at 7:07pm
I must say i am in the "leave it until February" school of thought, they can look straggly in wintertime, but I can put up with it.
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Nunn00123 View Drop Down
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  Quote Nunn00123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2008 at 10:53am
Assuming you are talking about clematis all in the pruning group three, I tidy up my clematis after the first frost have done its work, cutting back growth by half. In Cambridge set backs can occur if we get -10 degrees centigrade, seems to a quite regular occurance in late winter early spring. At the end of February I carry out my final pruning to about a foot above ground level. New growth has been killed by late frosts for the last two years, but new growth has apeared below the damaged shoots. This is my reason for not cutting right down to ground level in frost prone areas or gardens, as there is always insurance that new growth can occur below frost damaged shoots.
 
Roy W Nunn
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Ron.G.Carlile View Drop Down
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  Quote Ron.G.Carlile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2008 at 10:01pm
Hi.
I find it interesting the different views on when and how to prune , myself
I go by when a plant flowers .  Most of my plants do not have a name , they are from seedlings I have grown for my own pleasure .   The ones that flower in spring and early summer I prune after flowering , I don't go in for large flowers
so any that flower in in July and August I just trim back to strong growth
The C.texensis types and other late flowering , cut back now and then in spring
back further but never to less than Cm from the ground .  Saying that I found one of my many C.montanas (don't know any names as they were All grown from seed ) had grow so that it was flowering a full width of a next house garden  , the stem was over 20mm thick and 5M long , I know that if you cut them back now they do not bleed,  it is now 2m long and it with its base growth is heading in the right direction .  The flower on it is a good size white , so it goes well with a pink flowering one from the other side of the garden , so looking forward to a good display next spring .
Ron.C 
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Peter Gooch View Drop Down
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  Quote Peter Gooch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2008 at 9:21am
It is fascinating to hear how different people treat their plants.
It is of course necessary to plant/prune and feed differently the same cultivar of clematis dependent on the soil type you have, the aspect it is growing on and the exposure it will be subjected to, so I guess this should not be so surprising.
I wonder if it would be possible to gather a rather un-scientific set of results about the way several different people treated the same cultivar of clematis in different parts of the country.
Peter
Peter Gooch
Thorncroft Clematis Nursery
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