Sweet Autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) is an aptly named clematis cultivar. With fragrant, white, star-shaped flowers, Sweet Autumn fills the garden with a heavenly scent from late summer to autumn. Sweet Autumn grows rapidly and will cover a support structure with 20 foot-long vines in one season. Considered invasive in some regions, it is best grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 4a through 9b. Sweet Autumn roots easily from cuttings taken in May or June.
things you’ll need:
- Plastic tub
- Planting pot
- Pruning shears
- Rooting hormone
- Heat mat
- Plastic bag
- Pour sand and perlite, in a 2-1 ratio, into a plastic tub or other container. Gradually pour water over the mixture, stirring, until it is completely wet and well mixed. Pour the planting medium into a pot and use your finger to poke a planting hole. Set the pot aside to drain while you take the Sweet Autumn clematis cutting.
- Look for a piece of clematis vine that is of the current year’s growth that is at the point where it is just beginning to turn woody. Cut a 6-inch piece of the stem. If you can’t plant the cutting immediately, wrap it in a moist paper towel, seal it in a plastic bag and keep it out of direct sunlight.
- Place the heat mat in a room that receives bright, but indirect sunlight. Set the heat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom one-third of the stem. Dip the bottom into a cup of water and then roll it in rooting hormone powder. Insert the hormone-tipped end into the hole you created in the planting medium. Bury the Sweet Autumn clematis stem up to within 1/2 inch of the bottom set of leaves.
- Spray the clematis cutting with water from a misting bottle and insert the pot into the plastic bag. Place it on the heat mat. Your Sweet Autumn clematis should root within one to three months. Remove it from the bag and turn off the heat mat.
Tips & Warnings
Transplant the Sweet Autumn clematis cutting into the garden by early August. If it hasn’t fully rooted by then, allow it to grow on indoors until after all danger of frost has passed in the spring. Keep the soil slightly moist while growing it indoors.
All portions of Sweet Autumn clematis are poisonous. Some people experience dermatitis after contact with the plant. Wear gloves when working with it.