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Propagate Clematis by Layering

A very popular vine grown in cottage gardens is clematis.  There is such a variety of clematis you can grow and enjoy.  You can never have enough so I am going to share with you how to propagate clematis by layering.

In a previous post I shared how I Propagate Roses by Air Layering and it now has become my favorite way of rooting roses. To propagate clematis by layering you use the same principle but it is done a little differently.

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Bourban Clematis with text overlay, Propagate Clematis fast and easy, Flower Patch Farmhouse

What you need to propagate clematis by layering:

Mother plant
sharp knife
rooting hormone
Toothpick (I used a pine needle)
Garden pin or small stone
optional: potting soil & 3 to 4 inch plastic pots

Start with your clematis vine.  This is the one I renovated this past Fall and shared.   I will link to that at the bottom of this post for you to read. The renovation worked well and now I can use some of the fresh Spring growth at the base of my clematis vine to propagate more.  I can actually start many new clematis along one vine.

Warsaw Nike Clematis, propagate clematis by layering. An easy fun way to get more clematis that you love

 

The video at the end of this post shows best what I am working with. The photo shots basically show the new spring growth.

Clematis are ‘internodal’ rooters, meaning they root in between leaf nodes not at them.  Many plants actually root at the leaf node.

Prep for layering the clematis

To propagate clematis by layering I bury 4 inch plastic pots at the base of my clematis.  The vine I am working on is long enough to lie over the nearby soil and I place pots at the sections of vine I will be propagating.  I know, sounds a little confusing but the video makes it clearer.

I lay the vine I am working with on a solid surface, like a board.

Slice the clematis vine

I use a sharp knife to slice into the stem between two leaf nodes. The slice is about an inch long.

Propagating Clematis by Layering, easy enough for beginner gardeners and faster than cuttings. Get more of what you love for free!

Holding my knife in the slice to keep my place,  I slide a toothpick (I actually use a pine needle, didn’t have tooth picks) into the slice to keep the stem sides apart slightly.  The theory is it prevents the stem from healing over before it has a chance to root.

Paint the sliced stem with rooting hormone with a small paint brush, mine is a liquid so I can just pour a bit on it.

Propagating Clematis by Layering, easy enough for beginner gardeners and faster than cuttings. Get more of what you love for free!

Bury the slice of clematis vine to root

My pots are already placed into the soil around the base of the mother plants and have some moist potting soil in them.  I gently press the sliced part of the stem into the soil (careful clematis can snap so easily) and cover with more potting soil.

Propagating Clematis by Layering, easy enough for beginner gardeners and faster than cuttings. Get more of what you love for free!

You can use garden pins to hold the vine down under the soil or I use a stone that is hefty enough to do the job.  One of the pots below has the stone and they other is waiting for its stone.

Propagating Clematis by Layering, easy enough for beginner gardeners and faster than cuttings. Get more of what you love for free!

This next one gets a clump of cement.

 

Propagating Clematis by Layering, easy enough for beginner gardeners and faster than cuttings. Get more of what you love for free!

Wait

Now here is the tricky part, waiting and making sure the little pots don’t dry out.(it can take all summer for them to root, some varieties root faster than others)  Being buried slightly in the ground helps them to retain moisture and I will mulch over them somewhat until the annuals I plant at the base of my clematis (mother plant) get large enough to shade little pots.

How do you know when your starts have rooted?  You will see vigorous growth shooting up. Good strong growth.  At that point you can double check that there are roots by gently digging out the soil around the stem area you layered and checking to see.

 

Here is the video I did of this post hoping it would help you to see what I did in better detail.

Relocate when Rooted

Pull the little pots with the rooted clematis out of the ground, if you check and they have a nice root then sever them from the mother plant. and you can now pot them up into larger containers or plant them in their new permanent home.

That sweet friends is how you propagate clematis by layering.

Happy Gardening!

More you will enjoy!
How to Grow Clematis

Spring Pruning Your Clematis
Prune Your Clematis for Top to Bottom Bloom (how to renovate)
How to Root Clematis from Cuttings

 

 

 

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Teri

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

Thank you, Pamela, for the instructions. You solved the mystery of why my tries have been unsuccessful... BETWEEN the leaf nodes. I'm going to try this with my CA native one when spring starts.

By rooting hormone, would vitamin B-1 work, what I usually use for growing roots on baby plants?

Elizabeth Meister

Monday 28th of January 2019

How long should it take the newly propagated plant to form blooms? I know that nre clematis plants can’t take a few years - will these bloom sooner than a ant started from seed?

Pamela

Monday 28th of January 2019

I have not tried to start Clematis from seed so I don't know if it will bloom faster than those. Each type clematis can start blooming in its own good time and conditions can play a part. Mine bloom well by the second year, though sparsely then by the third year it is a blooming fool!

Janet

Monday 4th of June 2018

You mentioned the brittleness of the stem. Is the place where you pierce the stem old, woody growth? New, green growth? Somewhere in-between?

Pamela

Monday 4th of June 2018

Hi Janet. In the first paragraph under "what you need to propagate" is this sentence: "The renovation worked well and now I can use some of the fresh Spring growth at the base of my clematis vine to propagate more." I hope this helps.

Tammy

Monday 3rd of July 2017

Hi Pamela, Do you make your on rooting hormone or do you buy it. If you do make it your self could you share your rooting hormone solution?

Pamela

Tuesday 4th of July 2017

I just buy it, I have never tried to make my own. I have used several types and as far as I can tell they all worked well.

kathleen rowley

Friday 19th of May 2017

Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge with us newbies! I am on a very tight budget presently, and would love to gain additional vines. Thanks again, your videos really help.

Pamela

Friday 19th of May 2017

I know what you mean about the very tight budget. That is really why I was motivated to learn all these tricks in gardening when I was starting my first garden I had no budget for buying plants etc and relied on cuttings, starts and seeds from fellow gardeners who delighted in sharing with me from their gardens.

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