Propagation question

david52_gwApril 29, 2013

I'm using pretty much the standard, recommended method for propagating clematis: one leaf, inter-nodal cutting 3-4 inches below the node, use Clonex rooting hormone, plant them in perlite, and use a covering dome. So I can get some 80% of my cuttings to root - often spectacularly.

My project here is to cover the deer fence that surrounds my property with assorted clematis vines. So I need hundreds of the things.

The problem: What do I do to help these rooted cuttings shoot of new, top growth? Out of the first, 50-odd successfully rooted cuttings, only about half shot up new top growth. The other half just sit there with one leaf, growing longer and longer roots, week after week, and then pft...

What to do?

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opheliathornvt zone 5

I've never had a lot of luck propagating clems, I'm afraid, and I think others have had the same luck. One person tried an aquarium bubbler, which increased her chances with water rooting. If you search this forum, you might find that thread. Sorry.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Ok, here's what they look like - I'll repot these in a gallon container, leaving the leaves an inch or so above the soil level. Maybe two will shoot runners, the other two would die.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:49PM
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opheliathornvt zone 5

That looks pretty good. Hope it works for you.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 8:15AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Those look very well rooted for cuttings. Your plan to pot them up should work well. Don't see why two would die if you keep them watered and in a good potting mix. Do you put the pots in the ground? That helps keep the roots from overheating and for me makes watering easier as they dry out less often. It doesn't take much space as the pots can be placed quite close together. Dig a trench and place pots in, leaving a little space between, then cover them up. Maybe when potting try covering some of them over the nodule leaving just the partial leaves showing to see if they will root from the nodule as well. I have rooted cuttings also and have found that they root so late in the season that the roots are very immature and they do not always make it through our harsh winters. The ones grown from seed often fair better. I leave mine in the ground for at least the first year and transplant the next spring if they have a good root system.

For me gardening is all about experimenting. If what you are doing isn't working try something else with some of your plants. Good luck and keep us posted as to what you try and your results.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Thanks, mnwsgal, I'll try potting them and burying the top nodule.

The ones in the photo went into gallon pots that stayed in the greenhouse over the winter - the half slowly dying until Oct, then they all went pretty much dormant in Jan-Feb. Those that survived started shooting runners in March, and I've dozens of rooted cuttings from them now that I have to figure out what to do with.

I'll try potting them up and planting the pots in a trench - be easier to keep them cool and moist as well, then trying to do that in a greenhouse over the summer.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 8:50PM
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