Climbing Shrubs


Select a well drained site on a south-facing wall or fence.

Dig in plenty organic material such as garden compost or peat into the planting site prior to planting; add a sprinkling of rose shrub or general fertiliser to give the plants a good start.

Plant Clematis 150mm (6") deeper than they were in their pots to protect them against clematis wilt.

Circa Week 26 onwards many climbing plants can be propagated from cuttings.

There are a number of ways to propagate shrubs and climbers, and some plants respond to a given technique better than others, here are a few suggestions:

Self layering:

Plants such as Hedera, will self-layer if their stems touch the soil.

These layers can then be cut from the parent plant, lifted, cut up into pieces and potted up to make instant cuttings.

It is recommended but not essential to grow these cuttings on until they are of a size suitable for planting out in their final quarters.

Serpentine layering:

Plants such as Hedera, and Clematis that grow long new growths are ideal for rooting several cuttings from one length of stem.

To do this, wound the underside of the stem at 200mm (8”) intervals with a sharp knife, remove a thin sliver of bark approx. 3mm (1/8”) long and approx 3mm (1/8”) wide but not more than 12m (½”) wide even on the thickest of stems.

Brush a little rooting hormone onto the wounds, then pin the stem down so that the wound is in contact with the prepared soil*.

Water in and leave to root.

Keep the area weed free, and water occasionally during summer.

It is possible to dig up the rooted layers within six months but it is often better to wait for 12-18 months.

* Pinning the stem down onto 75mm (3”) pots filled with seed compost and sunk at the required intervals into the soil can speed up rooting. It also means the new root system on the cuttings is not disturbed when severing the layers from the parent plant.

Other methods of propagation are;


Generally used with annual shrubs / climbers.

Semi-hardwood cuttings:

Hydrangeas,Pyracantha and Wisteria.

Nodal cuttings:

Hedera, Jasmine, Lonicera and Passiflora.

Hardwood cuttings:

Some Clematis species.

Root cuttings:

Clematis and Wisteria.

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