How To Take Clematis Cuttings Carol Klein

How To Take Clematis Cuttings: Carol Klein’s Expert Advice

Clematis plants are beloved by many gardeners for their stunning blooms and ability to climb trellises, walls, and arbors. While propagation through seeds can be a lengthy and uncertain process, taking cuttings from your existing plants can be a quick and reliable method to expand your clematis collection. In this article, we will explore Carol Klein’s expert advice on how to take clematis cuttings.

Why Take Clematis Cuttings?

There are several reasons why taking clematis cuttings is a popular method of propagation. Firstly, it allows you to replicate your favorite clematis varieties, ensuring that you can enjoy their unique characteristics in multiple areas of your garden. Secondly, some clematis varieties are not readily available in nurseries, making cuttings the best option for acquiring these elusive plants.

When to Take Clematis Cuttings

The ideal time to take clematis cuttings is during the late spring or early summer. During this period, the plant is in its active growth phase, which increases the likelihood of successful rooting. Aim to take cuttings when the plant has finished flowering, as this will divert less energy away from rooting.

Preparing the Materials

Before embarking on your clematis cutting adventure, gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need a sharp pair of bypass pruners, a clean tray or pot, a well-draining rooting medium (such as a mixture of perlite and coarse sand), rooting hormone powder, and a clear plastic bag or propagator to create a humid environment.

Choosing the Right Stem

Identifying the appropriate stem is crucial when taking clematis cuttings. Look for healthy, non-flowering shoots that are approximately 10-15 centimeters long. These shoots should be firm but not overly woody. Avoid stems that are damaged, diseased, or bearing flowers, as they are less likely to establish roots successfully.

Preparing the Cutting

Using your sharp bypass pruners, cut just below a leaf node to obtain the desired stem. A leaf node is where a leaf is attached to the stem. Remove any leaves from the bottom third of the cutting, as they can potentially rot when inserted into the rooting medium.

Applying Rooting Hormone

To maximize the chances of successful rooting, consider using rooting hormone powder. Dip the cut end of the clematis cutting into the rooting hormone and gently tap off any excess powder. Rooting hormone contains auxins, which promote root formation and increase the likelihood of successful establishment.

Planting the Cutting

Fill your tray or pot with the well-draining rooting medium, ensuring there are no air pockets. Insert the cutting into the medium, ensuring that at least two nodes are buried beneath the surface. Firmly press the medium around the cutting to ensure good contact.

Caring for the Cuttings

Once you have planted your clematis cuttings, they require proper care to encourage healthy root development. Mist the cuttings with water, or place the tray or pot in a propagator or cover it with a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment. This will prevent excessive moisture loss through transpiration. Place the tray in a bright but indirect light location, away from direct sunlight.

Rooting Progress and Transplanting

After a few weeks, carefully check the progress of your clematis cuttings. Gently tug on the cuttings to ensure resistance, indicating the development of roots. Once roots have formed, you can carefully transplant your new clematis plants into individual pots using a suitable potting mix.


Taking clematis cuttings allows gardeners to propagate their favorite clematis varieties and expand their collection with relative ease. By following Carol Klein’s expert advice, you can successfully take clematis cuttings and enjoy the beauty of these magnificent climbers in various areas of your garden. Remember to be patient and provide the proper care to your cuttings, and soon you’ll have a thriving clematis collection to admire and cherish.

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