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Clematis Pruning Groups

Clematis Pruning Groups

close up of a blue clematis flower

This guide, is your key to growing happy, healthy and prolific clematis.

What are Clematis pruning groups?

You may have seen Clematis Pruning groups 1, 2 or 3 mentioned when buying clematis online and wondered what the big deal was.

Knowing the right pruning group for your Clematis can mean the difference between a dead looking mess and a plant which flowers happily for years. Check the pruning group when you buy Clematis and get it right from the start with this easy to use guide.  

Group 1

These clematis produce flowers on wood created the previous year.

Includes: Small flowered, early and evergreen types such as Armandii, Early Sensation, Cirrhosa Wisley Cream and the Montana and Alpina varieties.

How to prune: Don’t. Seriously, they need zero pruning - ideal for busy gardeners.

Group 2

These also produce flowers on growth from the previous year.


Includes: Large flowered varieties like Marie Boisselot, Niobe, Nelly Moser, Rebecca and Piilu.

How to prune: Lightly, in February. Remove weak or damaged stems to allow for fresh growth and trim the rest of the stems back to just above the highest pair of buds. Don’t go crazy, or it won’t flower at all that year.

Group 3

These Clematis flower on the current season’s growth.


Includes: Smaller flowered Viticella types like Etoile Violette, My Angel, Madame Julia Correvon and Petit Faucon.

How to Prune: Hard. Do it in early Spring before the new growth starts. Cut back your Clematis to just above a bud, about 30cm from the soil. Seems drastic, but if you don’t, you’ll end up with a mess of dead stems with a few flowers at the top. Not a good look.

Shop Clematis Plants

90cm Clematis 'Aljonushka' | 3L Pot

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Clematis 'Arabella' | On a 90cm Cane in a 3L Pot Climbing Plants

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