Clematis is a genus of woody flowering vines with a climbing and spreading growth habit. According to Purdue University, there are many species and numerous cultivars and hybrids of clematis, and not all of these are treated the same way with regard to pruning. There are three main classes of clematis when it comes to pruning: Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3, based on when they flower and if they flower on new or old wood. Autumn pruning is reserved for Type 2 clematis plants after their second flowering in the late summer and early fall, according to the University of Illinois. Commonly planted Type 2 clematis species and cultivars include: ‘The President,’ ‘Vino,’ ‘Anne-Louise,’ ‘Arctic Queen,’ ‘Bees Jubilee,’ ‘Crystal Fountain’ and ‘Rosemoor.’
Prune clematis vines very carefully, cutting one vine at a time and double-checking before you make each cut to ensure you are cutting the correct vine. Since clematis vines grow in a somewhat tangled mass, it is easy to make unintended cuts that sever portions of vines you might want to retain.
Extensive autumn pruning may reduce the amount of blooms that occur on old wood in the following spring. Limiting autumn pruning to just what is necessary will preserve the maximum amount of spring bloom on Type 2 clematis species and cultivars.