Last spring I planted several new clematis. They didn't bloom a lot last year but I have high hopes for them this year. While in the garden last week, I noticed that one of them still has some of last summer's green leaves. It also has s lot of buds. I'll have to admit that my interest in clematis is fairly new and I'm far from an expert. So I'm not sure if clematis carry these leaf buds through the winter, as many plants do with their flower buds, or if this is another anomaly of this very warm fall we've had.
In any case, it made me think about pruning. Pruning clematis can be tricky. Depending on the type of clematis, pruning correctly may mean cutting the plant nearly to the ground, lightly pruning, or no pruning. This is why it is important that you know what kind of clematis you have. If you know the name, you can easily look up pruning instructions on the internet. If you don't know the name of your clematis, you might have noticed something on the plant tag that referred to "pruning group" and this will also tell you when/how to prune.
Like hydrangea, proper pruning of clematis depends on whether the variety you have blooms on old wood, new wood, or both. Improper pruning is not going to kill your plant, but it might sacrifice some of your blooms. And, although there are a few varieties that have attractive foliage, for most of us, bloom is the reason we grow clematis.
In my next post, I'll share some guidance on how to prune your clematis, even if you are not sure what kind it is.