Clematis Plants, vines and climbers from UK online store, Raymond Evison Clematis Ltd

Expert Pruning Methods

To achieve optimum results experts would traditionally subdivide clematis into the three pruning groups detailed below.

Traditional Pruning Group Three Diagram

Traditional Pruning Group One

Plants best pruned under this method normally flower early in the season with short stems from the previous season's growth (typical clematis include armandii, montana, alpina & macropetala).

It may not be necessary to prune these but if pruning is required it is best to prune AFTER flowering. (normally late spring/early summer)

If you are aiming to maximise plant spread it is best to only remove weak and damaged growth.

If the aim is to contain the plant then it can be pruned back or shortened but it is best to leave some relatively juvenile growth (e.g.previous or current seasons stems) as these will be required to generate new growth.

NONE of the Raymond Evison Clematis Range are suited to be pruned under group one methods

Clematis Best pruned by Group 2 method

Arctic Queen, Anna Louise, Bourbon, Crystal Fountain, Empress, Franziska, Hyde Hall, Josephine

Traditional Pruning Group Three Diagram

Traditional Pruning Group Two

Plants best pruned under this method require some mature stems left from the previous season.

Many of the traditional early flowering large flowered (& double flowered) clematis fall within this group which includes traditional varieties such as Nelly Moser, Miss Bateman and Duchess of Edinburgh.

In late winter/early spring tidy up growth by removing any dead or weak stems by cutting down to just above a strong pair of leaf-axilbuds. Typically the height of this prune will vary from 80cm-1.2M.

It is recommended to stagger the height of pruning slightly and thus prune a portion of stems (say two or three) to within 30cm-60cm of soil level - this will encourage fresh growth at the base of the plant.

Traditional Pruning Group Three Diagram

Clematis Best pruned by Group 3 method

Avant-GardeCassisPeppermint, Pistachio, Viennetta, Amethyst Beauty, Reflections and Shimmer

Traditional Pruning Group Three

Plants best pruned under this technique will readily produce flowers from the current season's stems. Clematis that fall within this group include traditional summer flowering varieties such as jackmanii & Comtesse de Bouchaud as well as the viticella and integrifolia groups.

In late winter/early spring simply prune all the stems of the plant to within 20-30cm of soil level.

Most of the Clematis within the Raymond Evison range can be pruned under this technique and thus we recommend it as a simple no-fuss method.

It is also a good method to use for all groups during their first spring as it encourages a good base framework of stems.