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How to Prune Ville De Lyon Clematis


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Maturing at up to 10 feet tall and about 3 feet wide, the climbing stems of the Ville de Lyon clematis bear bright rosy magenta flowers with yellow-anthered centers in midsummer. Horticulturists classify this cultivar as a Group 3 clematis, which means it is a large, late-flowering selection that blooms on current season growth. The flowers of Ville de Lyon measure 4 to 5 inches across and the petal edges often display a slightly deeper tone of magenta-red. This vine grows well in fertile, moist but well-drained soil rich in organic matter in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 9.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Hand pruners
    1. Cut back each stem of the Ville de Lyon clematis in early spring before the buds swell and reveal leaves. Make the cuts with sharp hand pruners, cutting all vines back so two healthy-looking buds remain. According to the "A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants," these buds ideally are 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Make the cut 1/2 inch above the two buds you wish to retain.
    2. Repeat the cutting back of all main vine stems on the plant. Focus pruning only on the largest vines emanating from the ground. In some plants, there may be two to four main branches that fork off from the main trunk. Each of these vine branches needs to be cut back to two buds at a height around 8 inches if possible. If no buds occur that low, modify the pruning height for buds to 10 to 12 inches to satisfy the need for a healthy pair of buds.
    3. Trim away any broken or dead vines that occur across the growing season any time. Heavy rains or a windstorm may snap a vine. Remove the damaged part by making a cut 1/2 inch above a lower branch junction or healthy leaf.

Tips & Warnings

  • Depending on your climate, flowering on the new growth occurs as early as midsummer but anytime up until early fall.

  • Do not prune the growth that sprouts after pruning in spring.

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