Why prune clematis anyway?
- If left unpruned, clematis vines become overloaded with stems that produce few flowers. More vigorous species and varieties that are left unchecked bear most of the flowers high on top the plants and many times can result in pulling down the structures that are supporting them with their weight.
- Pruning clematis stimulates new growth, which increases the number of flowers at a level where you can best enjoy them, and takes weight off the plant to keep it from toppling over.
- Pruning also helps to keep clematis vines healthy. Clematis wilt, or fungal stem rot, occasionally strikes this plant, causing shoots, leaves or sometimes whole vines to collapse and brown, usually in early summer. Pruning back wilted shoots to healthy growth, or, if needed, pruning the whole plant almost to ground level prevents the disease from spreading and stimulates new stem growth from the remaining healthy tissue.
- Pruning the dense tangle of stems opens the remaining shoots to air and light and reduces the number of leaves that can hold moisture, which encourages wilt and other diseases.
- SPRING BLOOMERS-vines flower in spring, on growth from the previous year.
- REPEAT BLOOMERS-vines bloom in late spring or early summer, then again sporadically, on new shoots and old stems.
- SUMMER OR FALL BLOOMERS-vines flower in late summer or in fall, on new growth produced earlier in the season.
As you can see, I've waited a little late to prune my clematis, but it was not high on my list of priorities, considering the weather has not cooperated at all this spring. There were so many other items of business to get done in the garden first.
Follow this link from Fine Gardening magazine Click here(which is where I found the clematis information). It will explain in more detail about which method of pruning that needs to be done on your clematis.