How to in­crease clema­tis through lay­er­ing

Manitoba Gardener Magazine - - LOCAL DIRT -

Lay­er­ing in­volves pin­ning the nodes of a young, flex­i­ble vine stem to some nicely pre­pared earth and let­ting the vine take root. When the root is well es­tab­lished, cut it away from its mother and you have a lovely new plant. This method works well not just for clema­tis but also for plants pro­duc­ing vine-like growth in­clud­ing wis­te­ria (try the new hardy type), clema­tis and grapes. Ivies and Vir­ginia creeper are easy to prop­a­gate this way.

Loosen the earth along the area where you wish to en­cour­age new growth. Add a lit­tle peat moss if the soil is hard or es­pe­cially sandy or clay based. Make a lit­tle hole about three or four inches deep.

Take a healthy, young ten­dril, and peg it to the ground along a wall or a fence. Use any­thing handy to do the peg­ging, even a heavy stone, as long as it keeps a node of the vine se­curely fas­tened to the ground. The vine should be bent or nicked at the point of peg­ging to en­cour­age growth of roots.

Even­tu­ally, the vine will send down roots at this point. You can as­sist this by adding a lit­tle root­ing hor­mone to the nodes that will con­tact the earth.

Keep the soil moist at the con­tact points.

When you can see that the nodes have taken root, you can cut the new plantling away from the mother plant. Then it is just a mat­ter of nur­tur­ing your new vine and giv­ing it sup­port to climb up­wards.

You can in­crease the vine even more by peg­ging sever- al of the nodes at lo­ca­tions along the stem. This is called ser­pen­tine lay­er­ing. Make sure there is at least one leaf above the ground be­tween each peg­ging.

You can also in­crease clema­tis by tak­ing cut­tings of woody vines and root­ing them in wet sand with a bit of root­ing com­pound. Cut­tings taken in spring when the vine is ac­tively grow­ing will in­crease your suc­cess rate. It takes sev­eral weeks for the cut­tings to take root.

Lay­er­ing vines is an ef­fi­cient way of in­creas­ing them. Pin a node to the ground, keep it moist and when the roots take and shoots ap­pear, sep­a­rate your new plantling from its mother.

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