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How to Prune Sweet Autumn Clematis


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Sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) is a fast-growing, climbing vine that will quickly cover a trellis or climb up the side of a building. It will just as quickly smother nearby shrubs and flowers. A native of Japan, sweet autumn clematis can be invasive in areas outside its native range. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Trimming and pruning are crucial when cultivating this vigorous clematis variety, to keep the plant looking tidy and prevent it from climbing and smothering nearby shrubs, landscape trees and garden beds.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Pruning shears
    1. Prune sweet autumn clematis in late summer as the flowers are beginning to fade on the vine.
    2. Remove all the growth that contains flower heads, to prevent the plant from going to seed. Make clean cuts straight across each branch, using sharp pruning shears.
    3. Cut autumn clematis back to the shape and size you want to keep it. This vigorous plant requires heavy pruning to keep it from taking over an area or structure.
    4. Discard plant cuttings and seed heads in the yard waste bin to prevent inadvertently spreading sweet autumn clematis to other areas of the garden or landscape.

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