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Propagate clematis: How easy to propagate woodland vine by cuttings or cuttings

Clematis (woodland vine) is one of the most beautiful climbing plants of all. With its pretty flowers, which bloom white, pink, purple or even blue, it beautifies gardens, house walls and fences. So it’s no wonder that people like to propagate their clematis. How exactly this works, we explain below.

If you have a lush flowering clematis, you can easily propagate it and grow it both in pots and directly in the garden. We’ll show you the best methods for propagation and give tips on how to make everything go well.

When is the right time to propagate?

Beautiful woodland vine in the garden tips for propagation

Clematis is a hardy climbing plant that adorns many German gardens. There is no restriction on the time for propagation of this plant – you can do it all year round. And what’s even better, compared to other plants, the woodland vine is quite easy to propagate. So you don’t have to be a professional at all to do it well.

The easiest way: propagate clematis by cuttings

Clematis plant with purple flowers

If you want to propagate your clematis by cuttings, you can do it all year round as long as the soil is frost-free. What you need:

  • well-developed mother plant
  • sharp knife
  • rooting hormone
  • toothpick
  • garden pin or small stone
  • optional: potting soil and plastic pots

Be aware that clematis root between leaf nodes, so plant the shoot at the point between pairs of leaves and not at the node when using the lowering method.

Preparation for the propagation of clematis.

To propagate clematis by cuttings, bury 10 cm plastic pots at the base of the clematis mother plant. You can also simply use the garden soil. The vine you are working with should be healthy and long enough to be above the ground nearby. Place the pots under the sections of the shoot you want to propagate. Or place it along the surface of the soil where you want to leave it until it roots.

Cut open the shoot

Clematis propagation by cutting off cuttings

Using a sharp knife, cut into the shoot between two pairs of leaves. The cut should be about two inches long.

While holding the knife in the cut, slide a toothpick into the cut to keep the sides of the stem slightly apart. This will prevent the stem from healing before it has a chance to take root.

Then coat the cut stem with rooting hormone using a small brush.

Dig in clematis offshoots

Clematis propagate by cuttings from the mother plant


The pots are already set in the ground around the base of the mother plants and filled with some moist potting soil. Or the soil is already loosened and ready for planting.

Now gently push the cut part of the stem into the soil (be careful, clematis can break so easily) and cover it with more potting soil. This part is much easier in soil than in a pot, unless you have buried your pot.

You can use garden pins to hold the vine under the soil, or use a rock heavy enough to do the job.

Wait until the shoot takes root and forms leaves

Clematis propagate by cuttings lowering method

Now comes the hard part: wait and make sure that the small pots do not dry out. (It can take all summer for the cuttings to take root, some varieties root faster than others). Digging lightly into the soil and adding mulch, will help the plant retain moisture.

How can you tell if your seedlings are rooted? You will see vigorous growth that shoots up. Good, vigorous growth. At this point, you can check to see if there are roots by carefully digging up the soil around the stem area you layered and checking.

Cut off offshoots and relocate the plant.

Pull the small pots of rooted clematis out of the ground, and when you see that they are well rooted, separate them from the mother plant, and you can now repot them into larger containers or plant them in their new location.

Propagate clematis by cuttings: here’s how!

Cut off woodland vine shoot for propagation


The second best method would be to propagate clematis by cuttings. For this, late spring or early summer is best, that is, the months of May, June and July. This method works best for species with small flowers such as Clematis montana, Clematis alpina and Clematis viticella. We explain how to cut, plant and root the cuttings step by step below.

What you need:

  • Clematis mother plant (older than two years).
  • Plastic bag with damp paper towel
  • 7 cm pots with high quality potting soil
  • Drip tray
  • rooting powder
  • sharp knife and cutting board
  • large ziplock bag
  • Popsicle sticks or chopsticks

Please note that you must perform the following steps immediately after cutting the cuttings, otherwise the cutting will die.

Propagate clematis by cuttings: cut off a healthy shoot.

Propagation by cuttings Tips for choosing healthy shoots

Put the growing soil in the pots, water thoroughly, refill the growing soil and water again. Place the pots on a draining tray and have a chopstick and ziplock bag ready for each pot.

Clean your knife with rubbing alcohol and use it to cut a healthy shoot from your plant. Cut the cutting just above a leaf node (the part of the stem from which two leaves grow).

Immediately place the cut end between warm, damp paper towels and tuck that end into the bag.

Prepare cuttings for planting

Clematis shoots cut off so succeeds the propagation by cuttings

Cut the shoot into several pieces – first cut off 2 inches above the pair of leaves. Then cut off one of the leaves and make the last cut about 5 cm below the leaf joint.

Dip the prepared cuttings in the root activator and then place them in a pot of potting soil, leaning each cutting against the inside of the pot. You can fit up to 4 cuttings in one pot. Cover the rooting hormone portion of the stem with soil and press lightly to remove any air pockets. Then water the clematis cuttings and additionally spray the leaves with water.

Cover clematis cuttings

Woodland vine propagation instructions cuttings in plastic bag

The cuttings need a warm, humid climate, so place the pots in large ziplock bags or a suitable mini-greenhouse . It takes about two to four weeks for roots to form.

Can clematis be propagated by seed?

Popular climbing plants for the garden Italian clematis

You can, of course, propagate clematis plants by sowing seeds. However, this method would not be recommended because it can take up to 3 years for the seeds to germinate and take root.

In summary, clematis is an easy plant to propagate, and its offshoots and cuttings can result in beautiful young plants. You can do this throughout the year, that is, even in the winter, as soon as there is no frost.

What are the most common mistakes in the care of clematis and how to avoid them, read this article .