Clematis are deservedly popular, but tend to confuse the amateur pruner.
The key is to understand their flowering habit.

Year 1 pruning Hoencouragea stronger, more pushy habit, cut back newly wanted clematis to two buds.
Year 2 pruning Shorten the growths to about half, cutting back to a pair o) strong buds. Do this in mid- to late winter. Train in any new sterns to horizontal wires.
Year 3 pruning Prune group I clematis (spring-flowering) in midsummer to within two or three buds of the framework. Prune group 2 (summer- and autumn-flowering on new wood) down to the lowest pair oj strong buds in early spring. For group 3, cut one-third of the stems to within I ft. of the ground.
If you wish, you can have a clematis in flower almost all year round, but the
appropriate pruning treatment for each type depends on their flowering season.
Botanists have grouped them accordingly, and this will help
you determine the pruning season.
The largest number of ‘rubers belong to the twining out. and these do their work through twining tendrils, leaf petioles, or stems. The latter group need suitable poles or wires around which they can weave themselves, with enough space in between the supports for them to bend their entire stems around them. In contrast, plants that climb using twining tendrils or leaf petioles can support themselves happily on thin wires that are relatively closely spaced.
In their formative year or years, most twining climbers need the gardener’s help in order to establish themselves on their support. It is therefore important to lie them in loosely to the support structure, using tics that are both soft enough and loose enough not to damage any delicate stems.

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