How to Propagate Clematis From Seeds

Written by frank whittemore
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How to Propagate Clematis From Seeds
Clematis are known for their prolific and showy flowers. ( Images)

The clematis is prized for its climbing vines, shiny green leaves and beautiful flowers, which come in colours from white, to pinks, reds, blues and purples. The plant will propagate from seeds, although what sprouts may not resemble the parent plant at all. Growing clematis from seeds is one way to discover a new hybrid variety that may result from crossing different clematis cultivars. Your chances of sprouting clematis seeds improves greatly by chilling the seeds for a while. Known as stratification, this technique breaks the dormancy of the seeds.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clematis seeds
  • Seed tray
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Large zip-top plastic bag
  • Pencil
  • 1 gallon pots
  • Potting soil

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  1. 1

    Collect clematis seeds in the fall as they turn from green to brown. Remove the seeds from the plant and strip off the fluff from each seed.

  2. 2

    Fill the cells of a seed tray with a mixture of equal parts sand and peat moss. Dampen the soil with water. Place three or four seeds in each cell to the depth of about 1/4 inch. Press the soil mixture down.

  3. 3

    Poke a pencil several times through a large, clear zip-top bag to allow moisture to escape. Place the seed tray in the bag and seal it. Place the tray in a refrigerator at a temperature of around 4.44 degrees Celsius for 60 to 90 days to break the dormancy of the seeds.

  4. 4

    Remove the seed tray from the refrigerator. Place the tray in a warm area indoors that receives plenty of light but not full sun to allow the seeds to germinate. Mist the seeds as needed to keep the soil moist.

  5. 5

    Remove the zip-top bag once the seeds sprout. Thin each cell to only one plant. Water the sprouts as needed to keep the soil damp but not wet.

  6. 6

    When the seedlings have three sets of leaves, transplant them to 1 gallon grow-out pots filled with topsoil. Pinch the growing end of the plant stem off to encourage the plant to branch. Water the seedlings as needed to keep the soil moist.

  7. 7

    Place the clematis seedlings in a warm, sunny area outdoors. Continue to water the plants to keep the soil damp. When the roots fill the pot, transplant the clematis to your garden or landscape.

Tips and warnings

  • According to the Garden Action website, germination can take over a year for some clematis species, and the failure rates for seeds is relatively high. The more seeds you plant, the better your chances of sprouting seedlings.

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