How To Propagate Clematis From Cuttings
The following are some of the most common questions asked by newbies:
What do I need?
You will require a clean cutting (no dead wood) and at least one good quality leaf. You may also want to get a few small leaves if possible, as they provide additional nutrition for your plants.
What size leaf do I need?
It depends on the type of clematis you wish to propagate. If you have evergreens, then it would be best to use a large leaf, as these tend to produce larger fruits than smaller types. For other species such as hybrids or deciduous varieties, then a small leaf is better because they grow faster and produce fruit with fewer seeds.
Do I need to keep my cuttings moist?
No, but it helps to place them in a plastic bag for around 3 weeks after removal from the plant. This allows the moisture content of the soil to drop so that the cuttings germinate easier.
How long does propagation take?
Pruning time varies depending on which variety you choose and how fast you like your plants to grow. For most evergreens, it will take around 3-4 weeks for the stems to grow long enough to produce their first set of leaves.
When should I take cuttings?
Most people prepare cuttings over the winter months, but if you are growing in a hot climate then it is better to do so in the springtime (March), as this allows plants time to establish themselves before getting too hot or becoming dormant.
Where should I pot my cuttings up into?
Once you have removed your cuttings, then it is best to pot them on into a good quality ericaceous compost, such as John Innes No3. The reason for using these types of composts is because they are acidifying and low in nutrients so that mould can’t thrive. Other types of compost may rot your cuttings roots if they become too wet and begin to ferment.
Should I use rooting hormones?
No, these are unnecessary and are likely to do more harm than good. If you want your plants to root quicker then just remove the larger leaves and keep them warm and moist.
How much water and food do I give my cuttings?
It is best to only water the cuttings when the compost is starting to dry out. When you do water, then do so slowly and try not to over water. It is better to only water a little bit, than to drown your plants roots.
After a few weeks of growth, you may also notice some small leaves appear on your cuttings. It is at this point that you can begin feeding them with organic nitrogen such as chicken manure tea.
How do I prevent the cuttings from getting diseased?
Diseases can easily be spread by using infected cutting, so it is important that you take as few steps as possible to prevent such things from happening.
Sources & references used in this article:
Rooting of clematis microshoots and stem cuttings in different substrates by S Kreen, M Svensson, K Rumpunen – Scientia Horticulturae, 2002 – Elsevier
Factors affecting propagation of Clematis by stem cuttings by JE Erwin, D Schwarze, R Donahue – HortTechnology, 1997 – journals.ashs.org
The anatomy and propagation of Clematis by EP Smith – Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1927 – Taylor & Francis
Factors affecting vegetative propagation of Arbutus unedo L. by stem cuttings by D Metaxas, T Syros, A Economou – Propagation of Ornamental …, 2008 – journal-pop.org
Effects of medium on rooting of Clematis socialis stem cuttings by LL Bruner, DJ Eakes, J Sibley, CM Morton… – SNA RESEARCH …, 2001 – sna.org
Auxin, wounding, and propagation medium affect rooting response of stem cuttings of Arbutus andrachne by MM Al-Salem, NS Karam – HortScience, 2001 – journals.ashs.org
The Propagation of Fruit Tree Stocks by Stem Cuttings.: II. Trials With Hard-and Soft-Wood Cuttings. by RC Knight, AW Witt – Journal of Pomology and Horticultural …, 1928 – Taylor & Francis
Effect of IBA, time of cutting collection, type of cuttings and rooting substrate on vegetative propagation in Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’ by G Vakouftsis, T Syros, S Kostas… – Propagation of …, 2009 – journal-pop.org