What are some of your best Clematis?

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

My favorites are Henryi and Ramona. The only way that I know to propogate them with is layering in the ground. What have you had success with?

Does anyone swap on this forum? I also have a large Gardener's Delight clematis. I would love some cuttings of Mandevilla too.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Teresa:

Gosh, that's a hard question because there are so many wonderful Clematis! Henryi is definitely one of my favorite. I also have Ramona, but I haven't planted this one outdoors yet because it was to small. I was waiting for it to grow some more. I also love Etoile Violet, Violet Charm, and Maidwell Hall. I've never tried propagating my Clematis. Do you propagate them through serpentine layering? How long does it take before you have rooted babies? I would be interested in trading Clematis with you. I don't have any Mandevilla at this moment. Please send me D-mail.



North Vancouver, BC(Zone 8a)

I would say: Madame Le Coultre, Hagley Hybrid, Huldine, Miss Bateman*my fave, and Arabella.........this one is non-stop and oh so healthy! Elaine

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

For sheer flower power I would say C. flammula, it is also strongly scented, and flowers forever. I grow C. kasmu with it, they are both in PF if you want to look, that also flowers well for a long time.

Kugotia, or Golden Tiara (same plant) is another robust grower and flowers forever. They are easy to grow, some easier than others. This one has Plant Breeders rights but I bought one for my daughter and grew 2 plants from it for myself! It is also a very quick one to establish from cuttings.

To grow from cuttings, take a new growth that has turned a little ripe, you don't want the very soft end growth. Choose a bit further down that is strong, cut about 1.5" below a pair of leaves. Cut the stem above the leaves to about 1/4" from the leaves. Remove one of the leaves to retain moisture, remember it has no roots and will perspire through leaves. Place in a small deepish pot, like the little ones you buy small cactii in will do well.

Bury the stem to the leaf joint, I find this is where it will root best. I place them in a heated propogator which is automatically heated 68-72F, preferably shaded from hot sun. Keep just moist, too wet is likely to rot the stem, it helps to wet the mat at the bottom to provide humidity. It should root, but not all will. You can place 3 in a slightly bigger pot, putting them around the edges, and transplant when growing well. Harden off slowly, keep inside for a start, and in a greenhouse when warmer. They can be put ouside when summer comes, but if a slow maturing plant I would keep in a cold greenhouse over winter. Kugotia matured in a season and flowered 1st year.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Excellent propagating information, Wallaby! Thanks so much for posting it!

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Hi Wallaby - Gee I find you all over the place. Question - Do you ever use a root hormone in your plant rootings. Don't know too much about it myself, but I'm under the impression it's suppose to promote root growth.

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

I am going to try the rooting hormone because my Mom and sisters have been asking about a start of mine. I love sharing plants. I did have one little volunteer of Henryi that I gave away last year.
Now I need to add this to my list with Pro Mix.


Halifax, NS(Zone 6b)

My Sho-un clematis! It's absouloutley beautiful every year. Last year had some wilt..so hopefully won't be back this spring.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Sho-un is very pretty, shame about the wilt. Do you plant them deep? if you plant them about 4" deeper than they were in their pots they should regrow if they get wilted.

I'm like a butterfly beaker, flitting everywhere!
Hey I think I'm finding you all over the place too!

No I don't use rooting hormone, some plants are supposed to be difficult and it is supposed to help, having never tried it I couldn't compare! I have heard from some that it doesn't make any difference. Oh no I don't want to go off on one of those experimental routes, too much else to do.....

With ripe stems if you scrape off some of the outer layer an inch or so from the bottom, that exposes the part with the hormones that will promote rooting.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Beautiful livilou! I love the Japanese Clematis cultivars!! I planted Sho-un last year, so I hope I'll see a few flowers this season.

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Who sells Japanese clematis? Like I need a new source for flowers.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Lots of Nurseries sell the Japanese cultivars. Which were you interested in?

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Here's a Japanese I really like, but I'm holding out for this year. Too much to do in the garden as it is.

This is Fujimusume from Silver Star Vinery.

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Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Back to rooting. How long does it take the cutting to set roots? There's a woman who lives across the street from me who admires my Clematis and I don't think she has a lot of money to spend on plants. Maybe I could start her a few.

We had a terrible storm last August and she lost her two big elms in her front yard. It was just an awful mess. The top of one tree was in my yard with the trunk laying across the street, not to mention we were without power for a few days. Anyway, I figure I can now grow roses out front. I probably owe her something for that!

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

It's a few years since I did it, I tried a few varieties and got success with most. Something from 2 weeks to a little longer I think. remember to push the leaf joint just so it's nicely hitting the compost, roots can come from them and head to the compost. I used a free draining leafy compost mix, keep moist but not soaked as that can rot them, the humidity around them can make them grow roots, so keep warm and a little shaded with a clear cover and moist mat underneath. Try it, you will be surprised! If you leaf is large you can also cut half off.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Fujimusume is a beauty! I ordered that one from Silver Star Vinery too!!

Rock Island, IL(Zone 5b)

Take a look at this info I've had stored on my computer for several years now. I'm going to give it a try full force this coming year.

Leaf-bud Cuttings
Leaf-bud cuttings are used for many trailing vines and when space or cutting material is limited. Each node on a stem can be treated as a cutting. This type of cutting consists of a leaf blade, petiole, and a short piece of stem with an attached axillary bud. Place cuttings in the medium with the bud covered (1/2 to 1 inch) and the leaf exposed (Figure 4). Examples of plants that can be propagated in this manner include clematis, rhododendron, camellia, jade plant, rubber plant, devilís ivy, grape ivy, dracaena, blackberry, mahonia, and heart-leaf philodendron.


∑ Bryant, G. 1995. Propagation Handbook. Stackpole Books: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
∑ Dirr, M. A. and C. W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture. Varsity Press: Athens, Georgia.
∑ Hartmann, H. T., D. E. Kester, F. T. Davies and R. L. Geneve. 1996. Plant Propagation, Principles and Practices. 6th ed. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
∑ McMillan Browse, P. D. A. 1978. Plant Propagation. Simon and Schuster: New York.
∑ Toogood, A. 1993. Plant Propagation Made Easy. Timber Press: Portland, Oregon

*Accidentally added unrelated info I had saved with this info as well*

Heres a photo of what is being explained with these "leaf bud cuttings".

I already plan to use my greenhouse with this shade cloth on always and have a contiunous mister that pushes water condensated air (I bought the thing at Walgreens Drug Store - It's made by 'Sunbeam') with bottom heat.....everything Wallaby says, basically.

This information I got off the internet - sorry I don't have links nor do I know where it came from! It was meant for me to refer to only for myelf so please excuse the plagurize! It's worth sharing however.


This message was edited Mar 4, 2006 10:08 PM

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Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Very interesting leaf-bud propagating techniques. Are you going to try propagating Clematis using this method? What do you do to the mother plant to seal up the wound?

Rock Island, IL(Zone 5b)

Well to answer your question I'm not worried the slightest about leaving something exposed. I do however think for bulk propagation (like "budding" grafting - Doing a "Bud-Graft") you really can't beat this method. As Wallaby says though and I agree, you'll get some to root and others will simply rot. Once you have the environmental conditions correct, you can do pretty much anything within those conditions to achieve good results!

Then, since I plagurized, I wrote the staff to at least remove the photo. While I may not have a link as reference, the information is still cited properly, or at least I think it is, just not the photo.


This message was edited Mar 5, 2006 1:56 AM

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

If you have a long new shoot you can just cut it into sections and use any that look suitable. That depends on the plant you are taking it from though, you may only ber able to get a short piece.

No need to protect the wound from the cut on the mother plant, when it's in growth it will just make more growth from the leaf axils further down, and can even encourage more shoots from the bottom.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks so much for the very valuable info conifers & wallaby1! I'm going to try "bud grafting" some of my Clematis, Azaleas, Rhododendrons & other soft wood plants.

I'm sure that the mother plant's system must cause a scab to heal over the grafted area in time. However, I still worry that it will leave the host plant more susceptible to disease & insects. Do you know if large commercial nurseries treat the host plant with anything?

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

I think you are mixing grafting up with taking a green, semi-ripe or other cutting. Bud grafting requires a root stock, and is used maily for things like fruit trees, apples etc., that is a bit more expertise.

This is simply taking a cutting and rooting it. Rhododendrons are often better done by layering, that is pegging a branch down to the soil and letting it root before removing from the parent.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes, you're probably right, wallaby1! I'm mixing up simple & complex bud grafting. Sheesh! So many different propagation methods!

Pegging a Rhododendron branch down into the soil is definitely the easiest way to propagate! I do this when propagating Hydrangeas too.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

What are some of the varieties that would be in bloom all summer long? I have an area that gets morning sun and would probably work out well for the Clematis.


Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi deb,

According to the American Clematis Society, "Most clematis enjoy being exposed to at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily.......planting pastel pink varieties in bright shade helps to minimize fading."

A lot of the large early flowering varieties will bloom in May & June & then have a repeat flush in September. Plus, Herbaceous & non-clinging varieties (Integrifolias & Heracleifolias) will flower all Summer long, such as:

Blue Boy
Pamiat Serdtsa
and others

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)


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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

C. flammula with Kasmu

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)


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Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

How do you know which clematis to trim back and which to leave to bloom on old wood?
Will Ramona and Gardener's Delight bloom on old wood? They are new to me. I left the vines last fall.

I was cutting my old Henryi back to about a foot until 2 years ago someone told me to leave it alone! It is over 6 ft tall and 2 ft wide. It is so beautiful when it is in full bloom.

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Gorgeous pictures, wallaby! I wish that Kugotia was available in the States!

Here is what Debbie says on her website about Clematis care & pruning. http://www.clematisdebbie.com/care.asp "Ramona" and "Henryi" are type 2's. They both benefit from light pruning. I'm not familiar with "Gardener's Delight". I cut my "Henryi" back lightly in early Spring and then after it's first flush of flowers. Here's a picture of my "Henryi" last year.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

There are 3 groups, those that flower only on the new season's growth, and should be cut to within a foot or so of the ground in spring just above buds, mostly late flowereing species and cultivars, Jackmanii, Ville de Lyon, Ernest Markham, Gipsy Queen, Hagley Hybrid are examples.

Those that flower on side shoots from the previous seasons growth, in which case the old flower heads and dead end growth should be removed. Early large-flowered cultivars, examples Marie Boisselot, Nelly Moser, Niobe, Daniel Deronda.

The other is mostly your small flowered types, early flowering species such as alpina, montana, macropetala, armandii, cirrhosa, which should only be pruned after flowering if the plant is overgrown.

There is a link on this site giving names under groups


Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Shirley I think Kugotia is available at Forest Farm, it is also called Golden Tiara. Henryii looks to do very well!

Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks wallaby! I knew that Clematis by the name "Golden Tiara", not by Kugotia!

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

My favorite is "Multi blue".

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Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Alyssum! Haven't seen you here for a while! Glad your "Multi-Blue" has done so beautifully for you!!

Cortlandt Manor, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks -- I don't get on Dave's that much -- but I do love that multi-blue. All the ones I got from the co-op did well -- but Multi blue is definitely my fav.

Springfield, OR(Zone 8b)

I have no idea what my best clematis actually is. It's purple and it blooms in spring. That's the only information I have. What I DO know, and what makes it the best is that my grandma had it growing up her porch trellis for years and when she finally had to leave her place and move to town I went up and rescued a ton of plants, including the clematis. I'm SOO pleased to report that I didn't kill it, and it's currently looking very happy climbing up my lightpost and has quite a few blooms! Yay! My grandma is thrilled that some of her plants were saved, and the clematis was a favorite of hers. When it blooms perhaps I'll post a pic of the blooms to ID.

In the photo you can see some little violets coming up, which were also 'scavenged'. I hope that they'll fill in the whole rocky area.

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Ellicott City, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Chamelle!

Welcome to the Vines & Climbers Forum!! Congratulations on rescuing your Grandmother's Clematis vines from her garden. You were very successfull transplanting them because they have a lot of growth and nice fat buds ready to burst into bloom! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of them soon.

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

My oldest vine, which is a Henryi is almost ready to open! It is always so beautiful, I will try and post a pic of it later.

Springfield, OR(Zone 8b)

Thank you for the welcome, Shirley! I'm excited about the clematis too... every day I think this might be the day, those buds are just getting HUGE! I can't wait to share pics and get an ID. My other clematis (autumn blooming and something or other 'elizabeth') are just now starting to put on some growth.

I have introduced myself over on the welcome mat if you'd like to take a peek.


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