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How to Split a Clematis


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The clematis, a perennial vine from the buttercup family, thrives in USDA Hardiness zones 3 and higher. Ohio State University notes that the woody deciduous clematis is regaining popularity as an attractive yet rugged vining plant for growing in the home garden. Propagate the woody vine by taking softwood cuttings in late spring from new, green growth or semi-hardwood section in midsummer from new growth that is beginning to mature. Clematis can also be propagated by stem layering in fall.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Propagation tray
  • Peat moss
  • Coarse horticultural sand
  • Perlite
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Water mister
  • 4-inch growing containers
  • Potting soil
  • Bleach
    1. Cut 6- to 8-inch cuttings from growing tips of a clematis vine with a clean, sharp knife. Wrap the cut ends of these stem sections in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag to reduce the amount of moisture lost while you prepare for propagation.
    2. Fill a propagation tray with a rooting medium mixture made of equal quantities of peat moss, coarse horticultural sand and perlite. Moisten the mixture with water until it becomes the consistency of a damp sponge.
    3. Remove the clematis stem cuttings from the paper towel and dip the bottom cut end in powdered rooting hormone. Stick the cut end into the propagation tray to a depth of 3 inches. Firm the medium around the branch to hold it in place.
    4. Mist the stem cuttings with water and place a clear plastic cover over the tray. Use a clear plastic bag if the tray does not have a cover. Use a stick or other support to make sure the bag does not touch the cuttings.
    5. Open the tray cover each day to refresh the air around the cuttings and monitor the soil moisture. Mist the soil and stems with water as needed. Use caution to ensure the soil does not saturate with water as this promotes stem rot.
    6. Verify root formation by pulling on the stems to check for resistance. Root formation occurs in approximately three weeks for softwood stems and four to six weeks for semi-hardwood stems.
    7. Transplant the clematis stems into 4-inch growing containers once the roots are established and about an inch long. Grow the young plants indoors until the following spring when they are large enough to plant outdoors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash the sharp knife, propagation tray and growing containers with a solution made from 9 parts water and 1 part household bleach. Rinse the items well and let them dry before using.

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