How to Propagate Sweet Autumn Clematis
Sweet autumn clematis, or Clematis terniflora, is an easy-to-grow climbing vine that produces star-shaped white flowers of ineffable charm. It may bloom from late summer into mid-fall. Its flowers give off a heady, vanilla-like scent. Sweet autumn clematis will twine itself around trees, arbors, gazebos, fences, railings — in short, anything in its path. When the vine is in full bloom, it can appear to blanket a surface in snowy white. Its fairytale appeal can lead the most jaded gardener to attempt its propagation.
things you’ll need:
- Sterile potting mix
- 2-inch plant pot with side drainage holes
- Garden shears
- Garden soil
- 8-inch (or larger) plant pot
- Fill a 2-inch pot with sterile potting mix. Sterile potting mix should be readily available at your nursery or garden retailer.
- Trim a branch from the main stem at the base of the plant.Place the cutting in the prepared pot. Put the base of the cutting — the snipped end — into the potting mix at a depth of 1 to 2 inches.
- Water thoroughly. Giving the growing medium a good watering will help facilitate the rooting process. Keeping it moist throughout the rooting process is essential.
- Watch for roots to grow. In a 2-inch pot, you should be able to see the newly sprouted roots protruding from the drainage holes. This typically takes four to six weeks. If, after a month or so, no roots have emerged from the drainage holes, lift the plant from the medium briefly to check for root growth, says Linda Dodge of the University of California Davis Plant Sciences Department. Once the roots have grown out to an inch or two, the cutting will be ready to place in soil.
- Fill an 8-inch plant pot with potting soil.
- Dig a hole in the soil that is large enough to accommodate the newly sprouted roots of the cutting.
- Place the cutting into the 8-inch pot, patting the soil down gently around the cutting.
- Water the soil. When you first transplant the cutting to soil, water it until water runs through the drainage holes. Thereafter, keep it moist. In hot weather, it may need more frequent watering to stay moist. Do not let the soil dry out between waterings.
Tips & Warnings
Sterile potting mix is soil-free material that is free of fungi and mold, which can prove deleterious to a plant cutting that is trying to grow roots. It includes such materials as perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum and peat moss.
Sweet autumn clematis in some cases, spreads its seeds far and wide, which leads to self-propagation. If you do not want the plant to spread on its own, cut off the seedheads that grow in after the blooms have faded.