Today is the first day of Spring.....and I am a day late with this post......and I feel Spring will be a day late arriving here in New Jersey. Our forecast is for SNOW and it is coming down right now.
Yesterday afternoon I took a quick stroll around my flower beds to check and see how things survived the winter. I have 3 plants that require pruning in the spring. My mini butterfly bush and my 2 Clematis.
There are 3 types of Clematis and each require pruning at a different time.
What is important to know is WHEN your Clematis flowers, that will determine when to prune.
Group 1 is the early flowering species which generally bloom in late April to late May. These clematis bloom on last year's wood and should be pruned after bloom, but only if necessary.
Group 2 clematis are early double and semi-double mid-season cultivars. They bloom mid to late May and if healthy will repeat bloom in September into October. These bloom on the new growth that is produced from old buds. If they are pruned to the ground, they will bloom but will miss the early flower period. These require minimal pruning to remove any dead stems in late March just as buds swell.
Group 3 are the late large flowered cultivars and other clematis species. They flower in mid to late June into July. Clematis viticella cultivars are vigorous plants that bloom July through September. These bloom on new wood so you can't go wrong however you prune. Generally these should be cut to a living bud at about 18-24 inches from the ground in spring as the buds swell. If these are never pruned, the flowers are produced way up at the top of the plant leaving their skinny legs showing. Group 3 also includes some of the clematis that do not climb.
My plants are Group 2....Nellie Moser so I was soaking some sun yesterday and pruned them above the new growth that is appearing.
This picture shows how and where to prune.
And what your reward will be :)