Sunday, May 31

Propagating a Clematis Vine

I just love flowering clematis vines!  
There are so many different colors and types and all are beautiful growing up a trellis, over an arbor, up a lamp post, along a fence or just anywhere really. 
The best way to grow clematis is from clematis cuttings.
Propagation is pretty easy and you can have anywhere from a 50% to up to a 90% success rate.

The Clematis is in the Buttercup family and hundreds of species and cultivars of clematis exist around the world. The popular vine is available in single- and double-bloom varieties, in dozens of colors that often change as the plant grows, and in cultivars that grow as high as 30 feet or remain about 6 to 8 feet. 

Certain clematis vines are winter hardy even to zone 3, while others are hardy in zones 4 through 9. Clematis originated in Europe and Asia and the late 1800's brought about numerous varieties through breeding and cross pollination.

The wild Clematis species native to China made their way into Japanese gardens by the 17th century. And the Japanese garden selections were the first exotic clematises to reach European gardens in the 18th century.
Clematis pests and diseases include powdery mildew, slugs and snails, scale insects, aphids, earwigs, and green flower disease, but I have found that once established the vine is pretty hardy and lasts for years.

Rooting hormone
Supplies You’ll Need:

Small pot
Pro Mix, Sand and Peat mix or other rich soil blend
Pruning shears or scissors
Container of water
Rooting Hormone
Clematis clipping

Here’s How To Do It:

First, the clematis shoots should be cut from a vine that is half green wood, which means a stem that has just started to become hard or brown wood. 
Propagation should be done from a healthy clematis vine in late spring to early summer.

Clematis vine clippings

Try to cut off a 1 to 3 foot section from the vine if possible so you have more starts.  If that’s not possible at least get a clipping big enough for one start.
If you are not able to immediately prepare the shoots for potting, place it in a plastic bag with water or use a moisten paper towel to keep the clipping moist and stop it from wilting.


Once ready, chip about a 3 to 4 inch section from the shoot, making sure to have at least one or two nodes (joints) on each clipping.

Remove most of the leaves.Place each clipping end into water and set aside.

Fill a small pot for each clipping with the rich soil blend.  I bought Miracle Grow brand pre-packaged potting soil blend. Wet the soil with water until moist but not soaked.

Next use a pencil or pinky finger to make a hole in the soil to insert the clipping.  This is to make sure you don’t knock off the rooting hormone when inserting the clipping into the dirt.

Place ends of clippings into water

Working with one clipping at a time, remove the clipping from the water and dip into the rooting hormone, making sure to coat the end well.

Dip clipping end into rooting hormone

Insert the end of the clipping with the rooting hormone into the hole in the soil. 
Press the soil firmly around the cutting and water slightly if needed but not too wet. 
Insert end of clipping into soil

Water just until damp

Place the pots into a Ziploc bag, leaving some of the top open for ventilation. The plastic bag with help retain heat and humidity.
Place the pots in a shady but warm location. Rooting is best achieved with high humidity and placed in well lit room but with indirect light.

Place pot in a Ziploc bag

You should have new root growth within a month or maybe just a little longer. 
A good indicator that the propagation is working and roots are growing is when the leaves appear to perk up. You can check by looking for roots emerging through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

Multiple starts from different clematis vines

Once a significant root system is established you can transplant to a permanent location, but the best thing to do to insure survival of the vine is to allow the plant to grow to a decent size and plant outside the following spring.

Vines after one week

To plant outside dig an 8 inch hole and add amendments or composted material to the soil if necessary.  Our soil here is very clayey so I must amend it anytime I plant something.  Carefully knock the plant out of its container and set it into the hole, keeping as much of the original soil around the roots as possible.  Fill the hole, pat the soil lightly and water.  Tie the main stem to a small stake or trellis.  Apply plant food after new growth starts. 

Happy Gardening!



Anonymous said...

Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks! Glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

I am trying this, I love Clematis. Keep on writing, great job!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

I have six small pots in my kitchen window right now. I'm sure you will be able to start them too, good luck!

Anonymous said...

Way cool! I never thought of doing this! I appreciate you posting this article and directions, looks easy, and the rest of your site is extremely good too. Tim

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tim