Clematis PruningLarge flowered clematis varieties usually have a great deal of dead wood each spring; small flowered kinds, proportionately less. During the growing season fertilize the plants with super- phosphate or ground bone, and potash in any form, but use sparingly such nitrogenous plant food as manures, nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia. When winter sets in mulch with strawy litter or other loose material to prevent heaving and settling of the ground due to alternate freezing and thawing.
When spring comes remove the mulch and loosen the soil 2" or 3" deep. Prune back all dead parts at least to living wood and also shorten the living parts from a third to two-thirds. The new shoots will be much stronger and blossom more freely than if all the living parts are allowed to remain.
The small flowered varieties may be pruned even more severely-a half to three-quarters of the living wood. Many gardeners cut the Japanese or sweet au- tumn clematis (Clematis paniculata) back within 12" or 18" of the ground each spring.
Pruning the tops of both large and small flowered kinds concentrates the plant food in the remaining living parts which are thus stimulated to grow and blossom more' freely.
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