How to prune a Josephine clematis

Written by bailey shoemaker richards
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How to prune a Josephine clematis
Plant clematis to grow and trail over a fence or wall. (Katsiaryna Belaya/iStock/Getty Images)

Clematis plants are flowering vines frequently used to add height to a garden. Josephine clematis makes a good background or accent plant, with its pink flowers and the ability to climb up vertical objects. Clematis grows well when trained along a vertical surface like a fence. In addition to regular care like watering and fertilising the clematis, Josephine clematis also requires annual pruning. Pruning helps keep the plant healthy by controlling its growth. Pruning also allows you to identify problems with the plant, such as fungal or insect problems, before they become too serious.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Begin the pruning process in the autumn, when the plant has become dormant. This mitigates potential imagery and prevents the pruning process from interfering with the next season's growth.

  2. 2

    Examine the vines of the Josephine clematis for damaged, dead or diseased sections. Vines that show damage could be broken, brown or have discoloured leaves, insect marks or signs of fungal diseases. These vines have the potential to spread these issues to the rest of the clematis and to other areas of the garden.

  3. 3

    Use pruning shears to cut off broken, sick or dead vines from the Josephine clematis plant. Cut the branches back to the base of the plant to prevent them from spreading disease or weakening the plant further.

  4. 4

    Remove any remaining flowers still on the Josephine plant. This helps promote healthy growth in the spring.

  5. 5

    Shape and shorten the clematis plant. Cut back branches that are growing off the vertical area where the Josephine is planted, and prune back older vines to allow new growth to emerge in the spring.

Tips and warnings

  • Prune the Josephine clematis before winter, as cold weather can severely damage the plant after it has been pruned.

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