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Dividing Clematis

I planted a Clematis 'Mme le Coultre' years ago and it now has more than thirty stems I am tempted to try and divide it to give half to my brother who has admired it, and to calm it down a little in my own garden. My idea was to wait until spring and then chop through it with a spade and dig out one half trying not to disturb the other half too much. Is this feasible or will I kill it?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198

    The normal way to propagate clematis is by cuttings, so you could try some of those to give your brother. 

    That said, if you have a huge clump and want to reduce it anyway - you might want to try  chopping a chunk out. I've never heard of anyone doing it though.  It would need to have a lot of decent root on it, and it may sulk for a while, but if you want to give it a try....image  why not.... image

    I'd take some cuttings as insurance anyway  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Yes you can when dormant Feb to march make sure you have a lot of roots.image
  • Thanks, Logan and Fairygirl image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198

    I knew someone would come along and prove me wrong Flowerlover!  image

    Good luck with it image

    Have you done it with lots of clematis Logan? Not something I've ever tried - usually I've layered stems.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    No Fairygirl I just looked on a website about it, I thought that only cuttings could be takenimage
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,547

    I'd be careful - damage low down on the plant is how Clematis Wilt infection strikes.

    I'd rather take cuttings/layers.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,815


    What you propose to do with your Clematis is something I've done a few times with group 3 Clematis, and I would try it with any other type, and it's never been a problem if you already have a sizeable plant, which it sounds as though you have with 30 stems.   What I like to do is put the spade in and try to get a few canes up with the roots and replant, leaving the other half in situ. Both plants will soon recover throughout the season.   I've also found it's not a problem if you don't get much of a rootball with those roots, just replant with some compost. If you get wilt in the first season, it'll get over it, and it's only the weakest growers that I wouldn't attempt.

    It's actually very easy, and if I can do it, I would say anyone could.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    I was given some dug up 'outriders' last year from 2 clematis. They started to grow and have now died back, I hope that's due to winter. I await with interest to see what happens in spring. They're potted up, outside

  • I have never had any success with cuttings - and I've tried in all seasons.

    I have just lifted eight of my clematis and planted in deep pots, different varieties, as part of the garden is about to be bulldozed.  Three of them came up with additional plants attached and all have made many new growths due to the warmer winter.  The only one that worries me is a very rampant Armandii and now is absolutely the wrong time to be lifting it - but needs must.  This was the only one with the equivalent of tap roots, and these had to be severed - so fingers crossed on that one but it is residing in copious quantities of lovely home-made compost. 

    I can't see that splitting as you suggest would do any harm at all, so long as you protect the roots well with lots of compost afterwards.

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