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My beautiful 10 year old clematis Montana needs to be pruned! It grows up a wall and over the pergolas and is dense,About 20cm of dead wood underneath and an amazing bed of white flowers in bloom at the moment.I'm going to have to be firm with myself and cut it right down.when it finishs flowering. How far should I go and will it survive a good prune.We will gain with more light in the kitchen but it will be a long time before I will get flowers like in the photo below Please send me courage gardeners
Courage, Centuri!! Know how you feel - horrid to cut down something beautiful.
It will survive a hard prune but might not flower much next year. Maybe you could train it away from the kitchen this time?? They are big plants, though, and it will romp away again because it has such a good root structure.
prune as hard as you like, provided you give it some feed every week it'll soon recover and take over again.
Mine is looking fantastic too this year- nowhere as big as yours, but big enough. Because of poor health last yr I wasnt able to do much, if any tying in, so it now is quite well intangled with the soffits of the extension-oops.
Am enjoying the display & the perfume, but once it's finished flowering the tree saw will come out. I always feed it after the prune, done every 3+yrs, & because the roots are fine it soon romps away.
I tend to go back to about 1-2ft from the base on the main stem. Checking you should be able to spot the 'nodes' from where it'll restart.
Good luck. J.