How to prune a Josephine clematis

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


Make cuts at an angle to the nearest adjoining vine or the base of the plant while pruning the Josephine clematis to help the plant heal more quickly.

Josephine clematis can also be trained to grow along the ground in between other plants to create an attractive ground cover. The same pruning principles apply whether the Josephine clematis is vertical or horizontal.


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

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
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About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.