Climbing Clematis pruning

(Question)

I have 3 varietals of climbing Clematis X: (a) The President; (b) EVpc035, Reflections; (c) Evipo062 Zara (Dwarf). They all say to “prune hard’ in spring. Please define “hard”, to the ground? above the ground? And “spring”, I assume once danger of frost past.

(Answer)

Thank you for including the names of your clematis, as there are 3 different types of pruning depending on the variety: two of your clematis(Reflections and Zara) are  considered to be in group 3. The President, however can either be pruned hard or usually not. It is considered to be in group 2.

Prune hard (group 3) means your clematis will bloom only on the new growth produced this spring, so you go down to about 6 inches to a foot from the ground. Prune off last year’s dead vines but on the newly growing vines coming up from the ground,prune just above where you see 2 new swelling buds. These will give you your new vines with flowers.

The President (group 2) is an older, taller variety and can bloom on both old and new wood. If you prune hard, you will get later and probably fewer flowers, but if you prune out just dead and damaged growth, but otherwise  leave healthy vines from last year, you will get earlier and more flowering

Don’t forget to water your clematis well and mulch with compost or manure around the base of the plant. Clematis are heavy feeders.

Prune in spring early after frost and when you can see where the newly swelling buds are present.