Clematis is one of the most beautiful climbing plants. They grow quickly and set colorful accents in every garden with their lush sea of ​​flowers. Clematis also faded quickly. Is cutting necessary then?

know the cutting group

In order to correctly answer the question of whether withered clematis flowers need to be cut off, it is necessary to know the pruning group of the respective clematis. There are countless species such as wild species and breeds. New ones are constantly being added. They differ in the shape of the flowers, color and flowering time . Some of them already put on buds in the previous year, others only in the flowering year. Three different intersection groups can be derived from this. These form the basis for pruning and cutting off the flowers when the clematis has faded.

Pruning Group 1: Spring bloomers

  • Flowering time April to May
  • Bud formation already in late autumn of the previous year
  • cutting off seeds and withered flowers is not absolutely necessary
  • no second bloom in late summer/autumn
  • no influence on flowering in the following year
  • pruning brings neither advantages nor disadvantages. Caution, if pruned incorrectly, there will be no flowering in the coming year.
Note: This group includes wild forms of clematis such as the white to pink-flowering mountain clematis (C. montana). A pruning of these climbing plants is normally not necessary, only if the plant is too big, it is bare from below or the flowers are fading. The cut should then take place immediately after flowering at the end of May/beginning of June.

Pruning group 2: Large-flowered twice-flowering hybrids

  • Hybrids with the largest flowers
  • single and double flowering specimens
  • first flowering: May to June
  • second flowering: August/September
  • Spring flowering on short-stemmed old wood
  • Summer flowering on this year’s new shoots
  • Remove wilted inflorescences from spring blooms
  • This releases energy for new flowering
  • appear after about 4 to 6 weeks
  • It is not necessary to remove wilted inflorescences after the second flowering
  • Cut back the shoots in November/December
  • if necessary also possible in February/March
  • Shorten the main shoots to 30 cm
  • pruning every 4 to 5 years
  • then cut back to 50 to 100 cm above the ground
Note: Many twice-blooming clematis form double inflorescences on the first bloom. When clematis have faded, the second flowering usually only produces simple inflorescences.

Pruning Group 3: Summer bloomers

  • many wild species and some hybrids
  • Flowering time May to June
  • Bud formation on the new wood of this year
  • no rebloom
  • no removal of withered inflorescences necessary
  • cutting off does not affect flowering in the following year
  • strong pruning of the shoots in November/December
  • 20 to 50 cm above the ground
  • also possible in early spring February/March
  • without pruning bare from below and
  • sparse flowering in the following year
Idea: Such summer-flowering clematis are often combined with climber roses when planting.

Clean properly

As a rule, the removal of faded inflorescences is only necessary for twice-blooming clematis. In this way, renewed flowering can be stimulated in the same year. The trimming should therefore take place immediately after the flowers have faded. It should be noted that not all inflorescences wither at the same time. would be advisable

  • either daily brushing or
  • wait until clematis has fully faded
  • to do this, remove the inflorescences with the pair of leaves underneath
  • Don’t forget fruit stands
  • prevent clematis from forming new flowers
  • otherwise all energy is put into seed formation

right tool

The right tool is also necessary for cleaning out, so as not to cause any damage to the plant. Fruit or inflorescences should never be simply plucked out by hand. It can quickly happen that thin shoots are torn out as well. Appropriate tool would be

  • a knife or
  • scissors
  • have to be sharp
  • disinfect in alcohol before starting
  • clean and disinfect well after finishing work

frequently asked Questions

Normally the pruning group is always noted on the plant label. However, you can also ask about it when you buy it. In addition, it is recognizable by the flowering period.

Yes and no. In the case of spring-blooming and summer-blooming varieties, it doesn’t matter whether the fruit and inflorescences are removed. It’s just a matter of taste. Sometimes these can also be an ornament. However, in the case of the multi-flowering varieties, they should be removed after the first flowering to stimulate subsequent flowering. If the withered inflorescences are not cut off, a second bloom is in danger.

The hardy Italian clematis (C. viticella) is well-known and blooms from June to September. It should not be missing in any garden. The sun-loving Clematis texensis should also be mentioned. It shows its inflorescences from June to October. Not to be forgotten are the yellow-flowered Clematis orientalis and C. tangutica, which bloom from June to October/November. In addition, the seed pods are a beautiful ornament in the winter months.

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