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Clematis

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The question

I have four different kinds of clematis. In the fall, do I cut this plant to waist level? And do I do the same for all of them?

The answer

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When to prune depends on the kind of clematis you have planted. You can leave them all alone, but then they won't be floriferous.

Here is a very rough guide: If it blooms in early spring, cut it back after the flowers are finished (take out all the dead stuff and prune back to a manageable shape before the end of July).

Once autumn bloomers have finished, I generally cut them back so they don't bang around during the winter, but many experts recommend waiting until spring (and you see new growth) and then cut them back to about 7.5 centimetres (three inches) from the ground. I usually put compost around the base and that does them very well. Check out www.gardenimport.com for more specific pruning dates.

Visit www.marjorieharris.com for more gardening and plant information.

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