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?
Not an ideal time, but both CAN be cut back. You will definitely set back
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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