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Group A: Early-flowering Clematis
Plants in this group bloom in early
spring, generally in April and May, from buds produced the previous
season. Prune these plants immediately after flowering, but no later than
the end of July. This allows time for new growth to produce flower buds
for the next season. Remove shoots that have bloomed. You can prune out
more vines to reduce the size or to form a good framework of branches, but
avoid cutting into woody trunks. Plants in this group include: C. alpina,
C. macropetala, C. armandii, C. montana and C. chrysocoma.
Group B: Large-flowered Hybrids
Large-flowered hybrids bloom in mid-June
on short stems from the previous season's growth and often again in late
summer on new growth, though these blooms are usually smaller. Prune in
February or March by removing dead and weak stems, then cut back the
remaining stems to the topmost pair of large, plump green buds. This cut
could be a 6 inches to 18 inches from the stem tips. Plants in this group
have the tendency to become leafless at the base as they mature. You can
underplant with low, spreading perennials to help conceal the stems. You
may be able to force a flush of new growth from the base by cutting the
vine back to 18 inches immediately after the flush of bloom in June.
Plants in this group include: 'Nelly Moser,' 'Miss Bateman,' 'Lasurstern,'
'Duchess of Edinburgh,' 'Mrs. Cholmondeley' and others.
Group C: Late-flowering Clematis
Plants in this group flower on the last
24-36 inches of the current season's growth. Some types begin blooming in
mid-June and continue into the fall. This is the easiest group to prune
since no old wood needs to be maintained. In February or March cut each
stem to a height of about 24-36 inches. This will include removal of some
good stems and buds. Eventually the length of the bare stem at the base
will increase as the vine matures. Plants in this group include: C.
viticella, C. flammula, C. tangutica, C. x jackmanii, C. maximowicziana,
'Perle d'Azur,' 'Royal Velours,' 'Duchess of Albany' and others.
Source: Ohio State University Extension
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