How To Trim Cat’s Claw Plants: Cutting Back A Cat’s Claw Vine In The Garden

Image by Dick Culbert

By Teo Spengler

Cat’s claw vines, fast growing and drought tolerant, fill your garden with drama and color. But don’t let it go wherever it wants to. Cutting back cat’s claw is an important and easy way to keep the vine under control. If you want to learn how to trim cat’s claw plants, read on.

Trimming a Cat’s Claw Vine

If you live in a region that is very warm or even hot, cat’s claw vine is one to consider. It thrives in the hottest zones, USDA zones 9 through 12, and readily covers a metal fence or wall. This evergreen vine offers lush, dark green foliage and brilliant butter-colored blossoms. The flowers have lines of scarlet and orange in their throats.

Pruning cat’s claw vines is an important part of caring for this plant. In its rush to grow, the vine can cover anything, from neighboring ornamentals to tall trees, and you need to start cutting back cat’s claw early to keep it in its place; otherwise it can get out of control.

This vine spreads vigorously, so you will do best to plant it where it can grow merrily without overwhelming another nearby plant. It will quickly cover barren walls and isolated fences, but you can also limit it to a large trellised planter. In either case, regularly pruning cat’s claw vines is advised.

Most important, keep it out of tree crowns and prevent it from covering your house by cutting back cat’s claw. Its sheer weight can cause damage. But trimming a cat’s claw vine regularly will normally do the trick.

How to Trim Cat’s Claw Plants

If you’ve decided to start pruning cat’s claw vines, you’ll want a little advice on technique. How to trim cat’s claw vines? There is no one right answer to the question.

You can cut tired cat’s claw vines to the ground and they will grow back stronger and lusher. You can trim the vine’s overflow from the top of a wall or a fence to prevent its weight from increasing and bringing down the structure.

Remember that left to its own devices, cat’s claw vine can climb to heights of 20 to 30 feet tall (6 to 9 m.) and achieve a spread of 18 to 24 inches (46-61 cm.). You can keep it smaller by regularly trimming a cat’s claw vine.

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