How to Replant Clematis


The clematis plant is a member of the buttercup family, featuring long, climbing vines that produce bright and colorful leaves and fruit during the growing season. These plants can live up to 25 years, and in that time period you may need to move the plant to a new location because of design decisions or plant needs. Late winter, while the plant is dormant and before new buds begin to grow, is the optimal time to replant your clematis to avoid damaging the roots.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Soil tiller
  • Compost or manure
  • Water
  • Shovel
    1. Till the soil to a depth of 8 inches in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Try to avoid planting clematis near trees with large roots, as the tree will draw away water and nutrients that the clematis needs.
    2. Mix 1 to 2 inches of organic compost or manure into the soil as you till to increase drainage. Clematis roots grow best in moist areas but are easily damaged by standing water.
    3. Water the soil lightly so it is moist but not soaking. Also water the soil at the clematis’s current growing site to make it easier to dig up.
    4. Gently remove the top layers of soil around the clematis until you expose the roots. Continue to remove soil until you find the ends of the roots. Expose the roots as much as possible on all sides and dig beneath them, if possible, to avoid pulling or tearing the roots.
    5. Lift the plant out of the soil and move it immediately to its new home. Dig a hole in the new soil large enough to accommodate the full width of the roots and deep enough so the plant sits 2 to 3 inches deeper than at the original site. You may be able to see a soil mark on the stem to help you determine the depth.
    6. Insert the clematis into its new home and gently spread out the roots. Backfill the hole by hand, gently tamping the soil around the roots to remove any air bubbles. Add water any time the top 1 to 1½ inches of soil become dry. This encourages the roots to spread out in new directions.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want the clematis to grow up, you may need to provide a stake for them to grow around. You can also allow them to grow across the ground. If other plants are nearby, they may crawl over them.

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