Cuttings allow you to propagate your favorite clematis variety.

How to Propagate Clematis Vines

by Jenny Harrington

Twining, climbing clematis vines cover fences and trellises with rich greenery and abundant flowers. Clematis (Clematis spp.) grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11. The vines are best propagated by cuttings, which requires potting healthy stem sections so they can develop their own root system as they develop into new plants. Clematis flowers in early, mid or late summer, depending on the variety. Take cuttings immediately after flowering to ensure the best rooting and healthiest growth.

Cut a 4- to 8-inch length from a healthy stem with foliage, using shears. Make the cut just above a bud or leaf.

Fill a 5-inch-diameter pot with a mixture of equal parts coarse sand and peat moss. Water the mixture until it's lightly moistened and allow any excess water to drain completely through the bottom drainage hole on the pot before planting.

Pull off the leaves on the lower section of the cutting, leaving only the topmost foliage in place.

Fill a small bowl with a powdered or liquid rooting hormone. Dip the cut end of the clematis cutting into the hormone, coating it completely.

Insert the cut end of the stem into the potting medium deep enough so it stands upright on its own. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag, arranged so it isn't touching the cutting. The bag retains soil moisture and creates a greenhouse environment during rooting.

Set the pot so it receives bright but indirect sunlight, and maintain temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the cutting if the medium begins to dry out before rooting. The clematis cutting usually roots within four to six weeks.

Remove the bag after the cutting roots. Rooting has occurred when new growth emerges from the stem. Water the new clematis vine when the soil begins to feel dry.

Items you will need

  • Shears
  • 5-inch pot
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Small bowl
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic bag


  • Grow the cutting in its pot indoors over winter if you took it in late summer, and transplant it outdoors in spring. You can transplant spring and early-summer cuttings outdoors the same season, once they have rooted and begun actively growing.
  • Disinfect shears, pots and other planting implements by rinsing them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water to prevent disease problems.


  • Clematis plants are toxic if swallowed, and they may also cause minor skin irritation. Wear gloves when handling the plant.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

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