Clematis Group 2

The second group of clematis includes most of the large-flowered varieties, including ‘Lasurstern’ and ‘Nelly Moser’. These tend to have two flowerings, the main crop in the early summer on the previous year’s wood and then a second crop on the new wood in late summer or autumn. 

Pruning Clematis Group 2

1: The clematis in early spring looks very difficult to prune, but it is not quite as bad as it appears.

Picture of Patio Planting

2: Start by removing a few of the older shoots back to a pair of buds at the base, so that the plant is constantly rejuvenated.

Garden Planning

3: Next cut back all the remaining stems to the topmost pair of strong buds. If necessary, retie all the shoots, spreading them out if possible.

The double Clematis ‘Royalty’. Group 2
clematis need a little more attention than
those in the other two groups.


Initial training

Ensure that the young clematis is planted deeper in the soil than it was in the pot. Make sure that the pot soil line is about 5cm (2in) or more below ground level. This is to ensure that there will be some adventitious buds that will throw up new shoots and so ensure the plant’s survival if the plant suffers from clematis wilt. You should find that little initial pruning is required other than to remove any damaged wood, although many gardeners like to cut back all stems to a pair of strong buds about 30cm (12in) or so above the ground. Also ensure that the shoots are well spread out and tie any new ones in to a fan shape so that the whole of the support will be covered.

Established pruning

This is the most complicated of the clematis groups, although once you have done it a few times, it presents no problems. It is also reassuring to know that even if you cut something off that you didn’t mean to, it doesn’t really matter as the plant will tolerate being cut hard back. Pruning takes place in late winter, before the growth really gets under way (some growth may even have started by mid-winter, but do not worry about this, even if it gets cut off).

Firstly, remove any dead, dying or diseased wood. Next, cut back all the remaining shoots to the first pair of strong buds, which can be at varying points on the stems. In some cases, you will remove only a short length but in others you may cut back half the stem. Look carefully at the remaining structure and retie any shoots that may be better used to fill gaps, so that you achieve as even a spread as possible.


If the clematis becomes neglected or simply overgrown, you can cut it back quite severely and it will generally recover. If you are a little uncertain, reduce the plant by a third every year until it has all been renewed.

Group 2 clematis

  • C. ‘Barbara Dibley’
  • C. ‘Barbara Jackman’
  • C. ‘Belle of Woking’
  • C. ‘Countess of Lovelace’
  • C. ‘Daniel Deronda’
  • C. ‘Dr Ruppel’
  • C. ‘Elsa Späth’
  • C. ‘Fireworks’
  • C. ‘H.F. Young’
  • C. ‘Lasurstern’
  • C. ‘Marie Boisselot’
  • C. ‘Miss Bateman’
  • C. ‘Moonlight’
  • C. ‘Nelly Moser’
  • C. ‘Proteus’
  • C. ‘Star of India’
  • C. ‘The President’
  • C. ‘Vyvyan Pennell’

How to prune Clematis group 2

This group can be left unpruned but the flowering wood would get higher and higher, as well as more congested, so it is better to prune lightly to keep them under control. Take the opportunity to retie shoots to fill gaps and relieve congestion. Take back the shoots to the topmost pair of strong buds. Any dead or damaged wood should also be removed and one or two of the oldest stems can be removed almost to the base to rejuvenate the clematis.