How to Prune Climbers


Pruning is an essential part of maintenance for climbing plants; without it, climbers can overwhelm their growing support or neighbouring plants and may cause damage to guttering, roofs or masonry. Pruning can help the plant to achieve an attractive shape, and will also encourage flowering.

Scrambling climbers cling to their support using hooked thorns, and so must great care must be taken to ensure that sufficient ties have been used to provide additional support after pruning. More details on pruning scrambling or rambling climbers may be found in our section on Pruning Roses. Other climbers cling to their supports using aerial roots or suckers or by using tendrils, stems or leaf stalks.

In this section, you'll find information to help you prune all of these types of climbers, as well as some detailed advice on pruning clematis.

General Principles
The basics of pruning a climbing plant.
Formative Pruning
How to encourage climbing plants to form well-balanced and attractive coverage.
Controlling Growth
Advice on pruning back invasive climbing plants.
Renovating Neglected Climbers
A step-by-step guide to untangling woody stems and improving flowering displays.
Clematis Pruning Advice
Everything you need to know about pruning Group 1, 2 or 3 clematis.