I love clematis and I have bought 3 plants this year. My garden is all around the perimeter of my yard with a fence. I would like to have them growing eventually all around but the expense is not within my budget. How can I start new plants from clippings of my already purchased plants?
Karen from Leamington, Ontario Canada
The most common ways to propagate clematis (other than from seed) is by cuttings or layering. Cuttings tend to have a lower success rate and layering tends to take longer. Cuttings can be taken in May or June from shoots containing this year's growth. The shoots should be semi-hard wood (not too green, yet not fully hardened) and contain 2 to 3 leaf nodes. Wound the cuttings slightly by scraping off a small amount of plant tissue around the base. Dip them into a rooting hormone and place them in a pot filled with a light rooting mix (e.g. 2 parts sand, 1 part peat). Cut the bottom leaves off (leaving only stubs) and cut the top leaves in half. This will help reduce moisture loss. Moisten the rooting mix and cover the entire pot with a plastic dome made from a cut off 2-liter soda bottle (remove the cap). With good light and warm temperatures, the cuttings should root in 5 to 6 weeks. Cuttings taken in the early spring (May) sometimes take longer to root, so be patient. If you see roots by August, go ahead and plant the rooted cuttings outdoors. If you don't see any roots by then, keep the cuttings indoors over winter and plant them next spring.
Layering clematis is usually much easier for people than taking cuttings and you can do this in the fall. Select a mature stem (this year's or last year's growth) and slice a cut into it about 3 to 4 inches from the tip. This slit is where the new roots will emerge. Prop the wound open with a small piece of toothpick or grain of rice and dust it with a rooting hormone (one that contains a fungicide, if possible). Bend the shoot so that you can secure the wounded node to the soil with a bent piece of wire and then cover it lightly with soil. Rooting may take as long as 9 - 12 months, but once formed, you can cut the rooted portion away from the parent plant, carefully dig it up and move it to the desired location.
For more information on propagating clematis visit the International Clematis Society (http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/clematis/prop.htm).
Good Luck! Ellen
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.
For those of you who couldn't get this link to work (I couldn't),
Here is a link to an excellent video with information on starting Clematis from cuttings.I've tried this method and it works very well.
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