Clematis And Climbing Roses: 2 Beautiful Landscape Vines And How To Prune Them

by Grace Motley

Vines add vertical splashes of color to landscape by scrambling up wall, winding around trellises, or sprawling across fences. These plants also grow rapidly, so they require proper pruning and training to remain healthy and stay within their boundaries. This is especially true of commonly-grown vigorous, woody vines likes clematis, climbing roses and wisteria. 

1: Clematis 

Pruning your clematis can be tricky. You need to know if your plant is a spring or mid- to late-summer bloomer, so you can prune it at the right time of year. Clematis vines that bloom in spring do so on buds formed the previous year and require pruning in right after flowering. These varieties need minimal pruning to snip out overgrown vines an remove dead wood. Some common spring-blooming clematis include anemone, alpine and sweet autumn clematis. 

Vines that bloom in summer bud on the current year's stems and require blooming and severe pruning in early spring. You can cut these varieties down to healthy buds about 12 inches from the ground. Wait to prune until the buds begin to swell in spring to make sure which buds are viable. Two clematis cultivars that are summer bloomers include 'Jackmanii,' and 'Hagley Hybrid.' 

2: Climbing Roses

There are two types of climbing roses: ramblers and climbers. You need to know which variety you have to prune them properly. 

Rambling roses bloom in early spring to early summer from buds formed the year prior. You can prune ramblers after flowering by cutting the main canes back to healthy buds. During the summer, tie any new shoots that develop to a support horizontally. This encourages more flower buds to form. 

Climbing roses bloom bloom in mid- to late-summer on the current year's growth. You must wait until the vine goes into dormancy before you prune it. Pruning climbing roses when dormant, usually in winter, encourages more blooms the following summer. 

Climbers bloom on the side branches that grow out from the main structural stems, so cut each side branch back two or three buds. You also need to remove dead or spindly wood. After climbers flower you can keep them looking great all summer by removing spent blooms, snipping them back to a healthy leaf. 

If you need help choosing vines for to climb up a wall or trail across a fence, contact a local landscaper like Outdoor Solutions Landscaping. He or she can help you choose the vines that thrive in your climate and growing conditions and help you with care, including proper pruning and training.