How and when to prune clematis montana


Clematis montana or Mountain Clematis is a vine type plant of temperate regions. Its ability to climb elements such as fences or walls added to its beautiful flowers have made it very popular in gardens around the world. Naturally it is usually found in forests, forest margins, hillsides, thickets, along streams; at an altitude of 1000 – 4000. In case of not being controlled it can grow up to 12 m (39 feet), so in this article we will study everything about pruning clematis montana. We will take the time to give some basic care, as well as to analyze pruning some of its varideades.


Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.

1. How to care montana clematis


While the main theme of this post is how to carry out the pruning of your clematis montana, this is none other than one of the many cares that these plants need. In what follows we will see some of the most important care that needs to be carried out.

  • Planting: consider as a first step to place this plant near some structure that allows it to climb, and tilts the plant towards said structure once planted. On the other hand you can fertilize the plant just at the time of planting with a little compost or dehydrated manure: this will allow a stronger growth.
  • Soil: in general they don’t care what kind of soil they are in, and any reasonably fertile soil surface layer will work.
Clematis montana flowers
Clematis montana flowers
  • Irrigation: Clematis is not a plant that is characterized by drought, nor can it cope with excess water. That is why it is recommended to water regularly during the first year after planting. Maintain moisture in the soil but without waterlogging. Using a mulch can be used to maintain good humidity.
  • Propagation: reproducing these plants is not complicated, the most used practice is through cuttings.
  • Pruning: pruning could not be lacking between the cares, in what follows of the article we will deepen this subject, and you will see that carrying out this task is quite simple.

2. Tools needed to prune a Mountain Clematis


There are several tools that you will need to perform your pruning or trimming of a clematis montana. Each of them is appropriate for different cases depending on age, time of year, type of pruning, etc.

  • Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears.
  • Hedge Shears: Manual and power shears are available for trimming hedges. Manual shears have long, flat blades with relatively short handles and are good for small jobs. Electric shears are a good choice for larger hedges.
  • Lopping Shears: It is suitable to use on stems between half inch and 2 inches in diameter.
  • Saws: A number of pruning saws are available. These saws come with either curved or straight blades and of variable lengths and points. Curved blades that cut on the draw stroke are easy to use.

Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your Mountain Clematis. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂

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3. How to prune clematis montana


If you have been looking for information on how to prune clematis montana surely you have read several times that these plants do not require almost pruning. That is partly true, I mean a vine of this type does not need pruning to live, but the truth is that the gardener often needs to prune them especially to control their development.

The pruning advice that we will see here will be applicable for most of the varieties of Mountain Clematis. Among them we can mention:

  • Clematis montana grandiflora.
  • Clematis montana rubens.
  • Clematis montana elizabeth.
  • Clematis montana wilsonii.
  • Clematis montana warwickshire.
  • Clematis montana freda.

As you can see there are many varieties and obviously I’m leaving many more. The important thing is that you know that treatment with respect to pruning is similar in all varieties.

We will analyze two types of pruning, the one that is recently transplanted and those pruning that will be carried out as maintenance.

3.1 Plantation pruning and training

In general, if you don’t prune these plants when they are young they produce long individual stems that will generate flowers only on their upper part. Therefore, once the support structure is defined and the transplant is performed, you should take your pruning shears.

Only in case your plate already has three or four healthy and strong stems that leave from the base can you dispense with this pruning. Otherwise it is advisable to trim the stems about 30 cm from the ground. What will cause these cuts is to encourage these stems to multiply and thus be able to have more stems to give better coverage.

If in the next seasons you still do not have the amount of stems that you need to cover the structure, you can cut to cause the multiplication that we talked about in the previous paragraph.

3.2 Pruning maintenance

Once this vine is already a couple of years old and has become adult covering enough place as expected in these plants, what you will need are light maintenance pruning.

Pruning maintenance on a Mountain Clematis consists of trimming the stem tips developed in the previous season from 6 to 12 inches, this will help keep our plant clean and tidy. Keep in mind to always make the cut just above a healthy set of leaves.

Mountain Clematis
Mountain Clematis

Also when we perform this pruning is a good time to make cleaning cuts, eliminating all those branches that are sick, dead or damaged for any reason (plague, disease, storms, etc).

As we saw in the previous section, clematis montana needs quite hard pruning in its early years, this helps to promote branching to provide better coverage. Hard pruning will also be needed when the vine has become unsightly or is taking up more space than is available. If necessary, do not be afraid to perform a strong pruning of as many branches as you wish, just be careful not to cut thick, hard and woody logs.

4. When to prune Mountain Clematis


Pruning cleaning and maintenance in a Mountain Clematis can be carried out at any time of the year, we will not be damaging the plant if we perform a light pruning.

Now if like most gardeners, you are interested in having a good flowering keep in mind that this plant does not develop its floats in new shoots but does it in old wood. Therefore, in order not to eliminate much of the flowering with an early pruning, the most advisable to carry out the pruning once finished that the vine has finished flowering.

5. Summary


I know that I have readers who like to act fast on their plants, and cannot afford to read the entire article, which is why I will summarize everything in three sentences.

  • The first years of this plant, where we will be forming it, should be pruned with enough force to help better branching and coverage.
  • In the years following the formation of our mountain clematis, it will only need light maintenance pruning and cleaning pruning (helping to keep it under control).
  • The right time to prune it is barely finished flowering.

More briefly I cannot leave it to you. 😉

6. Pruning clematis montana video


As in this website we like you to get out of here having everything very clear is that once we have finished the post we leave a video (we select the best one we found on YouTube). This will help you understand in a more practical way everything seen on the trimming of your clematis montana. We have taken the video of the Mike Thurlow channel.

You may also be interested in knowing about pruning:

Well with this we have finished the article, I hope that with what is seen here you have no doubts when you have to take your scissors and prune your clematis montana.

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