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Watering and pruning

Alpine clematis
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Robert Mineau)  
Clematis alpina

Most climbers prefer to have “cool feet”. That means that it is best to water them deeply early in the day. Mulch will help preserve moisture and protect the roots from the sun’s rays.

As a rule, climbers should be pruned in spring, by removing all dead wood and broken or diseased branches. The stems can be cut back by one-half to encourage new stems to form at the base and avoid the formation of long, bare branches.

Rejuvenation pruning may be done, depending on the species. Climbing roses and some clematis plants that bloom on the previous year’s wood should not be given this type of pruning in spring, except for any dead or diseased branches and over-long stems.

Based on an article by Gabriel Gauthier in Quatre-Temps magazine, Vol. 20, No. 1

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