"Guaranteed to Grow" Filter
Enter your zip code to see plants that will work in YOUR garden. No more guesswork!
Hide Filter
Zone Info

You are Filtering By:

Filter is: 
Edit Settings

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Spring Clematis - It's Time to Prune!

Now that spring is (almost) upon us, those with Clematis in our gardens should be getting ready to prune. Read below for instructions on why and how to do this to promote strong, healthy spring growth.

From our article, "Clematis: Queen of Vines."

For clematis, winter and spring care are important. In the spring, wait until the stems show green sprouts. Then, it's usually a good idea to remove the weaker old wood. Remember, many clematis bloom both on old stems and the new, so don't remove everything. Instead, leave the main stems of the old framework that show sprouts, and remove the thinner smaller stems above them. This way, your sprouts will grow into strong new growth for the coming bloom.

In very cold places (like Vermont, where I grew them for years), the winter kills the whole vine right down to the dirt. They actually "disappear." Then in the spring, they are somewhat slow to emerge, so you must protect the spot, and watch for the shoots. Once they pop up, they grow fast, but beware--they are brittle! If you happen to break off the young spring shoots, it sets the vine back terribly, so it's important to watch and care for the new shoots until they really get going up your post or trellis.

Once that happens, it helps to gently guide the vining shoots as they find their way upward. You can actually "arrange" your vine as it grows, but again, be gentle; the stems remain brittle. Soon you'll see buds, and then suddenly one day, they begin to open. Most popular clematis varieties open incredibly large flowers, often as large as 5 to 8" across. They face the sunniest side of your trellis, and well, just take a look at the photos. Nothing makes a lovelier display.

Fertilizing and Care of Clematis

Nicholas Hall, the man in England who was in charge of the National Collection of Clematis during the 1990s, suggests the following:

When planting a clematis, mix in some good organic material — say, potting soil or peat moss, and add a handful of fish, blood or bone fertilizer. (I never use bone meal, since I've had too many plantings dug up by dogs thinking they've found a bone!) Well-rotted manure is great at the bottom of the hole.

Watering is all important in spring. After the spring rains, clematis are growing so rapidly they usually need extra water. Mr. Hall suggests an extra bucket full every few days, even if you're having rainstorms. At this time, he also suggests adding tomato fertilizer at the recommended rate at this critical time for your vine.

After bloom, if you choose, you can reduce the size of your vine partially, which will mean a little less work the next spring.

Happy Gardening!

One thought on “Spring Clematis - It's Time to Prune!”

  • Adele Roblin

    Very nice! Thank you for the good information, I have several large gardens and hope to nurture Clematis on our new/old arbor. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply
You are using an out-of-date browser.

You will still be able to shop AmericanMeadows.com, but some functionality may not work unless you update to a modern browser. Update My Browser


Please wait...

Item added to your cart

has been added to your cart.

Continue shopping or View cart & checkout