Care for and prune clematis by choosing and preparing the planting site, adding supports for the vines, watering the plant weekly, mulching and fertilizing it, and pruning it annually. You need thin wire, a trowel, a trellis, water, mulch, fertilizer and pruning shears.Continue Reading
Choose a planting site that has a neutral pH and at least six hours of full sun per day. The site needs to be free of other plants and trees so that the roots do not have to compete for nutrients.
Work compost into the top 2 feet of soil.
Either plant the clematis close to a building or fence to support the vines, or add a trellis. Place plastic-coated wire over the trellis, as the vines can only twine around thin branches or supports.
Plant the clematis in a hole large enough for the root ball, and fill the hole with soil. Immediately trim the stems back to 12 inches to encourage branching.
Give the plant 1 inch of water per week.
Add a 2-inch layer of mulch to the plant every spring.
Feed the plant with a 3:1:2 ratio of fertilizer once a year.
If you have an early-flowering clematis, prune it in the summer after it blooms. Prune large- and late-flowering clematis in the early spring before flowering.
For early-flowering types, cut away the shoots that have just produced blooms. Avoid cutting into old wood. For large-flowering types, remove dead and weak branches. For late-flowering clematis, cut each stem on the plant back to 2 feet.