Breeding Clematis

The best partners for roses and the second most popular beautifully flowering vines, clematis is rightly considered a unique climber. Huge flowers, bright greenery and amazing flexibility allow this liana to climb to new heights and win the hearts of gardeners. A huge palette of luxurious varieties of clematis still could not displace the more hardy and unpretentious Lomonosas from gardens. But unlike old clematis, new ones are not so easy to propagate. In order to increase your own collection of favorite lianas, you will have to have patience.

Breeding Clematis
Clematis jackmanii (Clematis jackmanii). © gardeninacity

The unpleasant aroma of clematis, which gave them the folk name of lomonosus, even at the beginning of the garden career did not scare away fans of their beauty from this plant. Clematis has been cultivated as an ornamental crop since the 16th century, but only in the 19th-20th centuries did the full potential of these plants truly come to light. Active hybridization and breeding led to the replacement of the modest species clematis by a vast palette of varieties with improved flowering.

The appearance of flowers similar to magnificent saucers in the masterpiece varieties of breeding did not lead to the fact that the best species clematis - white, panicle, virgin woolly, purple, Tangut - have gone into the shadow. After all, varietal clematis needs difficult care (it is rightly believed that the more beautiful and unusual the flowering, the more difficult it is to grow Lomonosas), but species clematis are surprisingly unpretentious.

The appearance of variety clematis has changed and significantly expanded the methods of reproduction of this liana as well. Species clematis were and are easily grown from seed, but varietal clematis can only be propagated vegetatively.

Clematis reproduce:

  • by cuttings;
  • dividing;
  • sowing seeds;
  • rooting the offshoots;
  • grafting.

Seeding Clematis

Seeding clematis is suitable only for wild or species clematis, as selected varieties hardly retain their fruiting capabilities. Clematis are divided into three groups according to seed size. Species with small seeds germinate quickly, lasting from 15 days to 3 months. With medium-sized (by size) seeds, the emergence of clematis sprouts takes from 1.5 months to half a year, with large - from 2 to 8 months. Sowing lines also depend directly on the size of the seeds. Small clematis seeds are always sown in spring, in March-April, while medium and large seeds are sown after harvesting or under winter, or with stratification.

Sow clematis seeds immediately into the soil, on seedbeds. If desired, they can be sown in boxes or containers with subsequent picking on beds (but plants develop worse and slower compared to those grown in open soil).

There are two strategies for sowing clematis seeds:

  1. Autumn (overwintering) sowing - used only for large and medium sized clematis seeds. The area for sowing is prepared by improving and loosening the soil if necessary. Seeds are sown rarely, in small holes or furrows, deepening into the soil for 4-5 cm
  2. Spring sowing . This option for medium and large clematis seeds requires preliminary stratification: they are kept in cool temperatures (not below 0 and not higher than 5 degrees Celsius) for 12-14 weeks. Most often seeds are stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, previously mixed with wet sand. Small seeds do not need to be processed. The sowing technique is similar.

Sprouting is carried out at the stage of the first or second pair of leaves, mulching the rows in between to protect young plants from overheating. Before the third pair of leaves appears, it is desirable to shade seedlings. Young clematis plants should be regularly watered, hoeed and weeded.

Posting of seeded clematis in permanent place is always carried out in a year, in autumn or spring. The plants are preserved for the winter by ducking, having previously cut off the shoots. Young plants are planted so that the root neck was buried by 3-4 cm. The plants are regularly pruned above the second pair of leaves for thickening. © nutcutlet

Grafting clematis

This method of propagation is by far the easiest and quickest. Of course, you will have to wait a few years before clematis plants will bloom to their full potential, but a large number of plants will make up for the slight delay with a minimum of effort and expense. The percentage of rooting in clematis depends directly on the age of the shoots and the plant itself. Young clematis and annual shoots are used for cuttings. The bushes are selected only from among plants that are carefully maintained, strong, healthy and actively growing.

Any green or woody cuttings can be rooted from this liana. Usually the rooting of clematis is carried out not in containers, but in soil on a special bed - in the garden or the greenhouse. With any method of cuttings, it is better to keep the shoots in a growth stimulator solution.

Clematis shoots are cut into cuttings in spring, in the beginning or middle of summer, best of all - at the stage of budding (before the beginning of flowering). For cuttings, the middle parts of the shoots are cut at a height of about 30 cm from the soil. From the stems, cut sections of young shoots 5 to 8 cm long with one node (if internodes are shorter than 4 cm, then with two nodes), the lower cuts are made at an angle of 45 degrees. The leaves on the cuttings are charmingly shortened. No more than one third of the shoots can be cut from a single clematis bush.

Clematis cuttings are rooted in moist peat-sand substrate, under a hood, deepening the cuttings to the node or immersing the node itself by no more than 2-3 mm. Usually, the process of rooting of single-veined cuttings takes about one or 2 months. During this time, it is necessary to maintain not only stable light soil moisture, but also high air humidity, periodically spraying them with water and creating a "fog" under the hood. Airing is carried out regularly.

Young growing plants need to maintain stable soil moisture. For the first winter, if clematis cuttings were not rooted in a greenhouse, they should be covered from above with a box or a hood, covered with leaves and insulated with lapels. Without air-dry cover, plants will not be able to overwinter in the ground. Transplanting to a permanent place is carried out only in the spring, observing the general rules of planting for all clematis. But nowadays it is more often recommended to use the strategy with plants growing during the whole year and planting in a permanent place only in the second year.

Tree cuttings are cut in autumn, keeping them in containers with substrate in a cool and dark place for winter, and in spring they are transferred to light and warm. In containerized or dug up for the winter, shoots are cut in February-March. Root autumn and spring cuttings in a stable moist substrate (spring cuttings - also under a hood, but controlling the air temperature - it should be as close to 15 degrees as possible). Rooting of single-tree cuttings lasts longer, taking about 2 - 3 months.

Breeding Clematis
Rooting of clematis cuttings. © cavershamjj

Rooting clematis cuttings

This is a simple and very effective method that produces strong seedlings that quickly achieve ornamental and flowering characteristics, without the traumatic separation of the main bush. In essence, the method of rooting clematis grafts is similar to the standard method of propagating any lianas. To reproduce clematis by grafts according to the classical method it is necessary:

  1. Make a deep, up to 7-10 cm groove at the bush base.
  2. Lay one of the strong young shoots into the groove. It is possible to create as a vertical shoot, sinking only one node, and horizontal, laying almost all the shoot, except the top.
  3. Carefully cover the nodes on the shoot with soil, leaving the leaves outside.
  4. Fix the shoots in the ground in any convenient way (with special clips or wire "pins").
  5. Water abundantly the places of future rooting and keep constant humidity of soil during the whole summer.
  6. 2-3 times during summer to fertilize with full mineral fertilizer or growth stimulator solution.

Although the rooting of clematis shoots knots will already happen by autumn, you cannot set off the daughter plants from the branches until next year. In spring, new shoots will begin to develop from the nodes, in summer they will be watered and given 1-2 feedings, and the separation from the mother bush and replanting is only carried out in late August-early autumn or the following spring. Of course, if desired, transplanting can be carried out in spring the following year, but it is better to let the plants form a good root system and get independent lianas that do not need re-growing. The plant is carefully dug out and planted in a new place, in planting pits prepared in advance, observing the general rules of planting.

In the first year after planting, the plants should not be allowed to flower. Usually, clematis plants form buds in the first year, but it is better to pinch them to improve rooting and maturing for winter.

An alternative way to root clematis offshoots:

  1. Feed the bush with humus or peat to the second-third pair of leaves on the shoots from below.
  2. For one or two years, the knot-rooted shoots are released from the dip, they can be cut off from the mother bush and put away.
Breeding Clematis
Reproduction of clematis by branches

Clematis bush division

Clematis over 5-6 years old, if they have formed a large number of shoots, can be divided into several parts. This is a relatively easy method that allows you to quickly achieve vigorous growth and not have to wait several years for the plant to reach its maximum ornamental value (it will flower in the year of division). But it should be remembered that clematis is an overhead plant is not so simple. The plant is afraid of root trauma, hardly tolerates transplants, and certainly division - even less so. There are only two cases where it is better to divide the plant itself:

  • when the liana needs to be moved to a new location or needs to be repotted due to other objective factors;
  • when the clematis becomes too big and there is a visible need for rejuvenation and loss of ornamental quality (usually this is typical for varieties with dense tillering).

The place for planting should be prepared in advance by improving the soil and preparing the planting pits.

The separation procedure is carried out even in the middle belt either in autumn or early spring. The latter option, although less dangerous in terms of preparation for winter, is associated with great difficulties. The thing is that the separation should be carried out as soon as the weather allows, the snow melts and the soil thaws, but the shoots should not touch the growth before the separation, the buds can be only slightly swollen. The timing of possible separation in this case is very limited, the clematis lags behind in development, so the autumn separation is considered simpler and less risky.

The procedure of clematis separation is quite complicated:

  1. The prepared planting pits are abundantly watered, saturating the soil with moisture. If possible, it is better to add a growth stimulator to the water for irrigation.
  2. If the plant is divided in autumn, the above-ground part is cut, leaving 2-3 pairs of buds. The clematis bushes are dug up very carefully, keeping a large reserve of soil around the roots and trying not to harm the long "cords". The earth is gently shaken off and washed so that the structure of the plant can be examined.
  3. After inspection, the bush is divided in any convenient way into large dividers containing a large bunch of roots, at least 2 to 3 shoots with visible lower buds of regeneration. If you are experienced in dividing clematis, you can also divide one shoot at a time, but the larger the division, the better. The best way is not to divide even a very large clematis into more than 2-3 parts.
  4. The roots are inspected, shortened, and the damaged and dry parts removed. The grafts are soaked in a solution of fungicide or manganese. Clematis plants are planted in a new place, following general planting rules and making sure the neck of the planting is about 10 cm deeper.

An alternative method of clematis division is to dig them up without digging them up. The bushes on one side are dug, creating a trench or hole up to 70 cm deep, trying not to damage the roots and moving in a circle. From the excavated side, carefully bare the base of the bush by hand and cut off the shoots with roots with a sharp secateurs or a knife, the rest of the bush is buried back and watered. Separated parts are treated in the same way as conventional dividers.

Watering after planting is not carried out: the stock of water poured into the planting hole is enough for the adapting plant. The first watering is carried out only a week after planting the divisions. You can also add growth stimulants to the water for watering.

Breeding Clematis
Clematis multiplication by bush division. © hummingbirdfarm

Grafting on clematis

The most labor-intensive of the clematis propagation methods allows for propagation throughout the year, obtaining large numbers of seedlings. For grafting on clematis, young shoot tops left after cutting cuttings from the middle part are used, and less often, single woody cuttings are used. Individual roots of varietal clematis or seedlings of species clematis rooted in advance are used as a rootstock. Clematis grafting can be done either by twisting or copulatory grafting or on a wedge. It will take up to a month to mature. It is best to graft in the greenhouse, then transplant the grafted plants into pots and containers and onto seedbeds.

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