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Thread: Clematis advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462

    Clematis advice

    Hi All,
    Anybody have advice for propagating clematis? I had one survive out of a package of 12 bareroot. I have a neighbor that has a huge beautiful Jackmannii with huge beautiful purple flowers. I'm hoping to get some cuttings from her. Would I be better off buying 2 qt. ones for $12-15 (which makes me shudder)? How about growing from seed? I have found lots of info, but would like advice from someone who does it.
    As always thanks. . . . .
    Last edited by vicki; 08-29-2004 at 10:27 PM.
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Clematis prop

    Hi Vicki--I don't blame you shuddering at those clematis prices. They are pricey here too, and not too hard to root if you have a bit of a mist setup. I haven't tried them without mist, tho others have had success with the old plastic bag overtop a pot deal.

    Clematis root quickly (most varieties in a month) from softwood cuttings (June or even May here)...take the whole shoot off and cut each leaf off with a couple inches of stem below it. These are called internodal cuttings coz there is no node at the bottom of the cutting like you normally do...just straight piece of stem.

    Stick the end in some weak hormone powder or gel, I often use 0.3% gel with good success. Bottom heat of around 20C works best for me, not too warm...clematis roots prefer it warm but not hot.

    I understand Jackmanni is a tough variety, many others root with much better success. Just try lots coz you can get a lot of cuttings from a few lengths of stem. I think it's too late this year for good quick rooting, tho they may well root even from winter hardwood cuttings. Just the softwoods will go so fast they will be easier and catch up anyway, I would get set for next spring if I were you.

    I use at least 50:50 perlite/peat, if not more perlite under the mist. I have tried using individual 2.5 in pots in trays, but still find deep undivided trays of mix work best for my setup. Pot them up once they have a good bit of roots.

    One other thing, I haven't had good success rooting in any amount of sun, mine really do best in deep shade while setting the roots...even with lots of mist it seems. Some plants you can just bump up the mist, but clematis, for me anyway, just need to be kept out of direct sun until they are well rooted.

    Glen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    northeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,703
    I started some from seed with only moderate sucess. I can't remember if I winter sowed tham or atarted them in the spring.
    Since I was moving at the time might have had something to do with the poor germination rate, but I think they were winter sowed. Next time I will start in spring. The one that did come up are finally starting to look good.
    tennessee sue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462
    Glen and Sue,
    Thanks for your replies, I'll take your advice and get set for spring. Cause I just can't bring myself to pay those kinds of prices.
    I will be receiving in the next day or so 3 clematis from a 'trade' I did. Should I pot these up and protect them for the winter or plant in the ground?
    Thanks again . . . . .
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    planting, or not

    Vicki--I would always tend to plant things as soon as practical, unless the soil is frozen. Roots can be damaged so easily in a pot, compared to being in the ground.

    The one problem I have run into is with very small stuff like newly rooted cuttings, which are almost impossible to keep from heaving in the frost...these are better kept in a protected area in a container but still try to protect the roots from severe cold, esp. if the soil gets saturated with water. Just damp, not soggy or too dry....it is the freezing that slices up the roots if there is excess water to make ice crystals.

    Most clematis are plenty hardy, but few things can stand freezing/thawing with the heaving from ice forming around the roots without being set back at least a bit! I think a temporary deep mulch like straw or pine needles would work to cut down on this kind of effect.

    Glen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Glen,

    My clematis are all still quite small and still in pots. They have finally gone dormant. I was beginning to think that they wouldn't.

    It has been warm/cool the last few weeks, and still I don't see any green growth.

    My dilemma is that I know they need chill hours, but if we get a hard freeze (23-25 degrees F) tommorrow night, should I put them in the unheated greenhouse where it will get cold, but not as cold?

    Also, it has be unusually dry. Should I water the plants just a little or no?

    I'd hate to lose them. They managed to survive after the hurricane, and I was afraid that they wouldn't. They aren't as healthy as they were before. Quite a few vines were broken.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    221

    cold clematis

    Ann--it's hard to believe you're looking for new growth on your clematis in mid-Jan. What a different growing environment you are in!

    That said, my armandii are sitting here with swollen buds, but they are always very quick off the mark, flowering in
    Feb. many years.

    I find an unheated greenhouse gets just about as cold as the outdoors, only you can control the wind and rain a bit better. Most clematis won't mind 23F for one night, the (deciduous) varieties are all plenty hardy throughout most of the continent. Whatever makes the most sense in your area, plus your time in moving things around must be a factor...it sure is for me here.

    I always like to have things moist, without any perched water in the bottoms of pots, going into a hard freeze. The moisture holds a lot more heat in the pot than you could with just dry soil...plus the heat conducts up from the ground a lot better. Finally, here and most places north of you get quite strong drying when the arctic air comes along...humidity is soooo low even with the low temps...moisture is really sucked out of the pots, and plants to a degree.

    Glen

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