Monty Don, who presents the television series Gardeners’ World, regularly shares his tips and tricks on his blog. With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start preparing for it.
“Next year’s flowers are formed on all the new growth made from this period until late summer so if you prune them much later than mid to late June you will be removing potential flowers that would bloom next spring.
“Pruning of these clematis is solely to maintain their size and spread for your convenience rather than for any horticultural benefit.
“So cut back freely, not worrying about individual stems or the position of the cut.
“Then when you have finished, weed round the plant, water it well and mulch generously with garden compost or bark chippings.”
“Left unpruned, these climbers tend to form a mass of tangled stems with bare bases and flowers well above eye level, so although it can be a time-consuming hack, it is well worth the effort.
“Clematis have a reputation for being difficult to prune, but they aren’t as long as you know when your plants flowers, as the three clematis pruning groups are based on flowering time:
“Pruning group one – Clematis that flower in winter and spring on shoots produced the previous summer.
“Pruning group two – Large-flowered cultivars that flower in early summer (May and June), including those referred to as twice-flowering. These produce flowers on shoots from last year’s growth, with a later flush on new growth.
“Pruning group three – Climbing clematis that flower from mid-summer (late June onwards) on new, current season growth, and herbaceous types.”