Clematis should be pruned during its dormant season, which varies depending on the type of clematis. Trim back straggly branches to encourage new growth with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video series on garden and lawn care.
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we are going to talk about when to prune clematis or clematis however you want to pronounce it. It is a beautiful vine that has gorgeous flowers on it. So the best time to prune your clematis is dependent on the variety. So if you have just moved in to your home and you are not sure what type of clematis you have give it a year and then find out if you have a Spring blooming or a Summer and Fall blooming clematis and then that will dictate when you should prune it. If you have a clematis that blooms in late Spring only an then it is pretty much dormant the rest of the Summer the best time to prune it is right after it is done blooming. So you want to cut out any of the dead vines or any of the straggly branches and vines and any of the shoots that are really wild, you want to cut those down so that you just have a main branch with lots of smaller branches to fill in because if it can concentrate on growing on the main branches then you'll get more flowers for the next year whereas if you have a clematis that blooms in the Summer or the late Summer into the Fall then you want to prune those in the Fall and in the Winter so when they're done blooming completely because if you trim them back in the Spring like you trim back the Spring blooming clematis then you won't get many blooms on them and you want to enjoy the blooms for as long as possible. So whenever they quit blooming in the Fall just start trimming back one third of the plant. That's the rule, never trim back more than one third of the plant every third vine, cut them out or trim them down about one third of the size and you will find the following year you will have even more blooms on your clematis.