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Taking Cuttings From Clematis

Almost the first indications of renewed growth every spring is the shoots that emerge from the woody stems of Clematis. If they are late flowering varieties (*such as Jackmanii, viticella, texenis their cultivated form and hybrids) this young growth is pruned back. Late flowering clematis click here.

Climber Support

These compact leafy shoots need not go to waste. The quickest and easiest way to produce new Clematis to adorn your Spiraclimb is to use this promising new growth to make cuttings.

Cuttings taken in mid spring produce roots so rapidly, and develop so fast they can be 2m (7ft) high and in flower by autumn.

So follow our 12-step guide to produce new Clematis plants to scale your Spiraclimbs.

  1. In spring when young shoots are 3-5 cm (1 2 in) long, just before they start to lengthen, cut off the entire new shoot were it meets the main stem.
  2. Remove the smallest leaves around the base, and all but one pair of the more mature leaves, nipping them off between finger and thumb. Leaving the unopened leaves and bud at tip of cutting.
  3. Fill some 7cm pots (2 ½ in) pots with a 50/50 mix of grit and perlite.
  4. Dip the end of each cutting into hormone rooting powder/solution, tap off the excess and use finger or pencil to insert about 1.5cm (½ in) deep into trays of compost.
  5. Pinch off any leaflets if they are in the way or touching other cuttings or compost.
  6. Place the trays in a frame on a heated greenhouse bench or in a heated propagator.
  7. Water the cuttings thoroughly and set the thermostat to maintain a temperature of around 15ºC (59ºF).
  8. Keep the atmosphere in the frame / propagator constantly moist.
  9. In sunny weather spray at least twice a day with a fine mist soaking the leaves but not adding too much water to the compost in the trays.
  10. When the cuttings have started producing roots spraying can be reduced.
  11. Move one week later to another bench in the greenhouse underneath a cover of bubble wrap.
  12. Feed with a high potash feed. (4x)
  13. Three weeks later the rooted cuttings can be potted on singly into 7cm (2 ½ in) pots. Then replace on open bench in greenhouse.
  14. Ten days after, the cuttings can be moved to a well-vented cold frame.
  15. Grow them on until they reach a height of around 30cm (12in)
  16. Tie each one to a short piece of bamboo.
  17. Then re-pot into 12cm (4 ½ in) pots and return to cold frame.
  18. After another 10-14 days replace short pieces of bamboo with Spiraclimb on a 1m cane and train plants along it as they develop.

Warning Signs



Cuttings start to wilt and fail to develop roots.

Atmosphere around the leaves of the cuttings too dry.

To develop roots high humidity is critical. Don't forget to fine mist spray!

Plants don't grow well after potting on.

Lacking in nutrients. Remember the goodness in compost is used up after around three weeks.

Use slow release fertilizer when potting on your cuttings/or feed with a good quality liquid feed.