Does clematis need to be cut back every year?

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I have a huge clematis that I didn't cut back last fall, now it has a lot of dry vines and leaves but it starting to green up. Will it hurt to leave the dead vines and leaves on it?

  8 answers
  • LJ LJ on Apr 11, 2018
    Probably not if it's greening in. Just going to make is messy. I'd try to cut around new growth to remove as much of the old stuff as possible.

  • Rowgop (Pam) Rowgop (Pam) on Apr 11, 2018
    Now, if your Clematis is in Groups 1 or 2, you should also do a special second-year pruning. Not everyone does this, but if you want a lush, many-stemmed, bloom-happy plant, the second year you should prune all stems back to about 3 feet from the ground in late winter/early spring.

  • Janice Janice on Apr 11, 2018
    Clematis is a wonderful vining plant and so beautiful to have. I find it helps the new growth to "vine" if it has the old to latch onto, but every year or so you should probably cut it back so it doesn't get leggy.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 11, 2018
    there are different type of clematis.Many will say yes,I do not until you can visibly see the dead wood that needs to be pruned once leaves form

  • Carol Thomas Carol Thomas on Apr 11, 2018
    You need to own which type of clematis it is to properly care for it. There are two different types and their care is different.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Apr 11, 2018
    Clematis is a woody growth vine. It is usually left to grow so that the woody parts harden and mature

  • William William on Apr 11, 2018
    I cut mine back every year when it gets new growth. Leaving the old growth will allow the new growth to vine over it. I may leave the old growth this year and see what it looks like.

  • Sharon Sharon on Apr 11, 2018
    I say yes, prune it each fall. My neighbor's got away from her and killed 3 trees. Then it crossed my fence into my tree, and it took 2 years to kill it before it strangled my tree.