The Q&A Archives: Clemantis plants

Question: Can I start a new clemantis plant from a cutting? I would like to start a new plant from one that my late Mother just loved. If so, is there a proper way. Thank you.

Answer: The easiest way to propagate your clematis is through a process called layering. Simply bend one of the stems down to the ground, notch it slightly, hold the wound open with a toothpick or pebble, bury the wounded part of the stem in the soil and anchor it down with a couple of pieces of wire (or paperclips), one on each side of the buried part. The tip of the stem should be above-ground. Roots will form at the injury and the stem can be cut from the mother plant and potted up once it has developed a healthy root system. If you can, try layering several stems - you'll have a better chance of success. Or, you can take tip cuttings. Cut a 6-8" stem (new growth), strip the lower leaves off the cutting and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Place the cuttings in a pot of moistened potting soil, then push 3-4 twigs or skewers into the soil next to the sides of the pot and drape plastic wrap over them to create a tent to hold in humidity (like a little greenhouse). Set the pot in a shady part of your yard and check every few days to make sure the soil is moist but not soggy wet. When new growth appears, remove the plastic tent and water as needed to keep the soil from drying out. Your cuttings should be ready to go into the ground by next spring. Good luck with your project.

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