How to Divide Clematis

Only herbaceous and shrubbery clematis tolerate division.
Only herbaceous and shrubbery clematis tolerate division. (Image: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Division is the most practical method of propagating herbaceous clematis such as Clematis integrifolia and shrub types such as C. heracleifolia. Propagate vining types by seeds, cuttings or layering. Divide clematis in spring so that the divided plants have a long growing season to heal their wounds and become established. If you miss the opportunity in spring, you can also divide in fall after the plant becomes dormant. Get the divisions in the ground as soon as possible and use a fungicide on the wounds to prevent rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruners
  • Complete fertilizer

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Use pruners to cut off the plant about a foot above the ground.

Dig up the plant with a shovel, taking care not to damage the roots. Shake off the excess soil.

Use pruners to cut the plant into sections, each having a generous portion of the crown, buds and roots.

Replant the divisions.

Water thoroughly at planting time and every week thereafter until the plants are established. Add a complete fertilizer at the time of the second watering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Small divisions take a long time to become established.
  • Clematis is drought tolerant and thrives in soils of minimum fertility. Once established, the plants rarely need watering or fertilization.


  • "The Flower Gardener's Bible"; Lewis and Nancy Hill; 2003
  • "Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free"; Geoff Bryant: 2003
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