Growing Clematis from seed

mbkruckow1968(7)May 17, 2012

My clematis blooms are gone, but many seed heads remain. How difficult is it to grow new plants from the seeds? How is it done?

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grow_darnit

I found that the easiest way was to wait till the seeds are good and dry, then just take a handful of seeds, push aside mulch under a bigger plant, like peony, scratch the dirt just a little, put the seeds on top and cover up with mulch again. There should be good 3-4 " of mulch at least. Make sure to water the spot often. I seem to have close to 100 % germination that way. They usually take a year to germinate and a couple more years to get the first blooms. It might not work as good in your zone though - we are much cooler, but it's worth a try, maybe try it in a shady area.
You can also check out clematis from seed website. I tried doing it this way too, it works, but seems like too much work. I now have more than 100 seedlings - have to pull them out like weeds, they fell and sprouted all over my garden path. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: clematis from seed

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:30AM
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grow_darnit

These were grown from seed.



A batch started by irises.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:48AM
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paulah-gardener(6)

That last photo says it all. I will be trying this. Thanks for sharing. Paula

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:51AM
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bcollingwood(Manchester UK)

Hi Paula, fantastic results and wonderful pics. Really interesting, thank you for posting them, Brian C.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 3:22PM
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grow_darnit

Brian,
It's actually Nina, not Paula. Paula wanted to try my method.
Thank you so much for your comment! It means a lot coming from you. I am a huge fan of your work and started my clematis seed experiments inspired by your website. I was very surprised it worked so well - I had so many seedlings I had to give them away. Actually, I just visited one of them yesterday. It is a very lovely double pale lavender daughter of Arctic Queen. I'll ask my friend for a photo.
Just wanted to say thank you for what you do and sharing your passion, your website is definitely changing lives.
Nina (Grow_darnit)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 7:11PM
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bcollingwood(Manchester UK)

Oh sorry Nina, I beg your pardon, my apologies, but you have done a fantastic job with those plants and you must be well pleased with the results. I certainly would be! I was going to email you in fact, but couldn't find an address, at the time. With pictures like that, you'll inspire a lot of people to give it a go. Brian

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:45AM
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grow_darnit

Brian,
that's quite all right. I am definitely thrilled! And you can e-mail me any time at: wendtnina@yahoo.com
Now, while I have a chance, I have a question for you. What do you do with plants that are not too exciting, you know, 'nice, but nothing to write home about'? With this many seedlings I have an inevitable upcoming problem of too many clematis plants that I just can't keep. After having grown them since they were babies (seeds) I don't think I could just kill them. What do you do?
Here are some more that bloomed for me this year:

Arctic Queen's offspring

This obelisk actually has two, they are similar in color, but one has flowers that are only 2" in diameter, the other one has bigger flowers and leaves.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:15PM
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bcollingwood(Manchester UK)

Hi Nina!
Yes, it becomes a problem, as you raise more plants. What I do is send them to other clematis enthusiasts to plant in their own garden. Obviously if you raise a reasonable number of seedlings every year, you can't keep them all and some turn out quite similar to others, but I am too soft to throw them on the compost heap. Most large-flowered clematis seedlings, if they get a chance, will produce lovely attractive adult plants that someone will definitely enjoy in their garden. So I wash the roots free of soil and trim them right down and post them to friends and acquaintances etc. Then instead of being wasted, they can be enjoyed by someone. Of course, a plant doesn't have to have 'unique' flowers to be beautiful! And many people would be very pleased to get the chance to grow a unique individual plant to maturity, just knowing it is a one-off plant. From a practical point of view it is a very good idea to have other people involved, that you stay in touch with, anyway: one day, for whatever reason, you might just find yourself wanting a cutting of something you previously had and if you know where you sent it, it is possible to repatriate it. Young plants make great gifts and gardening people completely love to receive them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 6:21AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Ever thought of taking them to a plant swap and giving them away?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:02PM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

I too am getting quite a few volunteer clematis in the gardens, besides the seeds I actually plant. I`ve made quite a few gardening friends happy this Spring. I usually like to see them bloom first... would hate to give away a super pretty one, but have too many to even wait til they bloom now. It's an addiction... thanks to Brian LOL.

Here's one of my seedlings that has a beautiful scent like the mother plant (Betty Corning).

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:39PM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Here's another from seed.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:23AM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

and another, from Texensis ...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:25AM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

and another. Hope I'm not boring you all.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:32AM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Last one.... for now. They're such fun. You never know what you'll get. This one is from a Rhapsody seed. Go figure.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:45AM
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grow_darnit

They look lovely! I especially like that Rhapsody seedling, I was just thinking about trying Rhapsody seeds myself. I hope they are this nice. Thank you for sharing!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 8:27PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

You are not boring me. I am glad to see the results of some of your seedlings. Love the Raphsody seedling! The Artic Queen seedling is interesting. Please continue to share your photos.

I am going to try your technique of sowing under peony bushes this year. I have a few seedlings from winter sowing which should/have bloom/bloomed this year. One looked like Betty Corning.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 2:19PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

On rereading all the postings I see that I mixed bloomorelse and growdarnit's postings in my note above. Sorry for the confusion. I've got them sorted now. Thank you both for your postings.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 2:23PM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Grow_darnit, I keep coming back to look as your Arctic Queen seedling. Love the pale shade of blue on it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 8:10PM
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bcollingwood(Manchester UK)

Marvellous pics and great thread. Some lovely seedlings. Am sending you some seeds this weekend Nina, if I double-up, would you mind sending some on to Joan too, please?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:58AM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Here's my first Ville de Lyon seedling, which surprised me by blooming almost completely white. On a couple of the flowers there is the palest of pink along the centre of the tepals which I'm not sure will stay or deepen in color. Either way, I think I'm going to like this one.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 11:37AM
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NHBabs z4b-5a NH

What a fun thread! I always really enjoy seeing the results of others' seed plantings. There are some really lovely flowers posted in this thread as well as some surprising colors. I think I'll try Nina's technique since I don't have a good indoor spot for seed starting and I have similar climate.

I'd also like to add my thanks to Brian for sharing his knowledge and experience with starting clematis from seed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 12:13PM
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bcollingwood(Manchester UK)

Here is one from a few years ago.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 2:22PM
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bloomorelse(Z4b NB Canada)

Brian, that one is a nice color. You must have oodles of seedlings. Show us more.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:01PM
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grow_darnit

Brian,
it is beautiful! Yes, I'll be happy to send Joan the seeds. Can't wait to try them myself!
Nina

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:31PM
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