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How to Deadhead a Clematis


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Clematis vines climb trellises or anything else that they can wind their tendrils around. There are three main types of clematis — early-flowering, large-flowering and late-flowering varieties. While all three bloom profusely, they flower at different times. Early- and late-flowering types bloom only once a year, in spring or fall, so they don’t require deadheading. Large-flowering clematis blooms in early summer but can provide a second period of blooms in fall if the vines are deadheaded. Removing the spent flowers halts seed production and encourages these vines to flower and set seed a second time.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer
    1. Locate a wilted flower on the clematis vine. Follow the stem to the second or third node from the flower. Nodes are small bumps or buds where new leaves later grow.
    2. Cut off the old flower 1/4 inch in front of the second or third node. Make a clean cut using sharp pruning shears. Repeat for each flower that needs to be removed.
    3. Collect the removed flowers from the clematis bed. Dispose of or compost them. Leaving dead plant matter at the base of the vine provides bedding for unwanted insects.
    4. Water the clematis thoroughly after deadheading, moistening the top 6 inches of soil. Fertilize with a general-purpose fertilizer, applied at the rate recommended on the packaging for your bed size. Prompt feeding and watering help encourage new flower bud formation.

Tips & Warnings

  • The vines don’t require a deadheading after they bloom for the second time in fall; instead, cut the entire vine back to a 12- to 18-inch height.

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