Layering vines such as clematis is an easy way to start new plants from ones already growing on your property. Layering occurs when stems of the plant come in contact with the soil and roots develop. Many vines propagate naturally by layering as the process increases the plant’s ability to acquire nutrients from the soil. You can speed up new root development by serpentine layering, a planting method for clematis that snakes portions of the plant above ground while burying other parts below, facilitating the layering process. Serpentine layering is a safe and stress-free method of propagating clematis to plant in other parts of your property.
things you’ll need:
- Dig a long, narrow trench 4 inches deep, 4 inches wide and 6 to 10 feet long near your clematis vine.
- Make a cut on the bottom portion of the vine, 2 feet out from the base of the vine and bury that section in the trench. Cutting the plant spurs new growth to heal the wound. When the wound is buried in the soil where moisture is consistently high, the roots will will develop instead of leaves, so make sure that the cut portion of the plant is securely planted in the soil to facilitate root development.
- Make another cut in the bottom of the vine 1 to 2 feet away from the first cut and bury that section in the trench. Ensure that there is at least one leaf above the ground between each wound that is buried so that the vine continues to photosynthesize and develop.
- Bury as many sections as your vine allows, following the instructions in Step 2.
- Cut the stems that are above ground after the vine has rooted and developed new growth.
- Transplant the new clematis vines to other areas on your property. Serpentine layering is an asexual propagation process, so the new plants have the same characteristics and requirements as the parent vine.