How to Prune Niobe Clematis
Niobe is a late-flowering clematis that produces its heaviest blooming from June through September. The first flowers appear in mid-summer on new growth. A second flush of smaller blooms occurs later on the new shoots that have developed this year. To keep your Niobe in top performing condition, you’ll need to prune it annually either in winter or early spring. While cutting back your vine may seem rash, keep in mind that it will grow another 8 feet or more over the season.
things you’ll need:
- Clean, sharp pruning shears
- 4-1-2 or 3-1-2 fertilizer
- Choose a pair of mature, healthy buds between 16 and 36 inches above the soil on each mature vine. These will be the reference points for your cuts.
- Use clean, sharp pruning shears to cut each stem about 1 inch above the bud pair. Go lower if you need to remove any material that is dead, diseased or that has sustained winter damage.
- Water the clematis thoroughly to evenly moisten the soil. These plants require about 1 inch of water weekly during the growing season. A good soaking once a week should be plenty.
- Feed your clematis once in early spring each year. This will help to jump-start it after pruning. Use a good commercial 4-1-2 or 3-1-2 fertilizer. Follow the packaging instructions carefully.
- Apply 2 or 3 inches of organic mulch to the Niobe’s root area. This will help keep the roots cool, maintain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Spread the vines out gently with your hands as the Niobe grows throughout the season. Arrange them to open up the plant to promote good air circulation and fill in any unattractive bare spots.
- Deadhead your Niobe clematis throughout the season to keep the plant looking tidy.