Climbing hydrangia and clematis

Our deck is going to be stained with an opaque latex stain soon and both climbing hydrangea and clematis are using it as support. I know the clematis should be cut back in the spring, but can I cut them back now without killing them? Carolyn
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Not all Clematis benefit from being cut back. Of those that do benefit, it also depends upon what type you have. See
http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/Flowers/Vines/clematis.htm
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David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com
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the hydrangea and likely lose next season's flowers but it will recover. Most clematis can be cut back quite hard without harming the plant - nurserypeople do it all the time to keep the vines manageable and reduce tangling, but of course these are much smaller plants. It is a common practice in rejuvenating old, very tangled vines. I cut back a monster clematis armandii last October - 5 garbage cans full of clippings. It bloomed rather sparsley this spring (I was impressed it bloomed at all) but has grown back rapidly.
pam - gardengal
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