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Clematis Seeds

PostPosted: Dec 06, 2007 10:56 pm
by Mary Ann
I've Googled but couldn't find this answer. Today I harvested a qt. of Clematis seedheads. Do I cut off the 'tails' or rub the diatris off the seed? Are the seeds fragile?

PostPosted: Dec 06, 2007 11:57 pm
by John
I would NOT do anthing other than plant the seeds-- leave the tails on... Here is some information on germination:

Germinating Clematis from Seeds
Clematis seeds may take up to three years to germinate, but you should get some germination in about six months to a year. Collect ripe seed in the fall and plant in sterile seed starting mix, covering seeds with a thin layer of sand. Place the container into a zip lock polyethylene bag and place it outside in a shady spot (or a refrigerator) for several months during the winter so that they go through several freeze/thaw cycles.

Then place the covered container in a warm location out of direct sunlight and wait for your first seedling. As the seeds germinate, the small plants should be pricked out of the germinating container and planted into a small pot using a sterile soiless mix. Be very careful as the root will be a single long root in the beginning. As it grows larger it will need a larger pot, fertilizer and constant moisture. When the plant has three sets of leaves, pinch out the growing tip to promote branching.

Seeds collected from hybrid clematis will usually not breed true to the parent so you might create a new and exciting cultivar that may be named after yourself or a loved one. The chances of getting a new winner are about one in 200, but acceptable smaller flowers of little commercial value will result. They make great gifts to fellow gardeners if you get too many.

Your seedling will take at least a year to offer its first bloom and another three years to become a mature plant. I usually wait until it blooms before planting it out in the garden. A greenhouse helps. It is a labor of love! Good luck!

PostPosted: Dec 07, 2007 1:11 am
by Mary Ann
Thanks, John, I'm happy to hear from someone who has actually done this, and what you say explains why none of the sites I researched mentioned anything about 'cleaning' the seeds.

Another oddball question: if freezing stops the aging process, how does the seed know when to start germinating? Is it a matter of cell deterioration? Aw, don't answer that, it's too deep for me anyway. :cry:

I'll follow your seed planting technique but won't need to think about pricking out seedlings for a good long time. When do you plant your clematis seed?

PostPosted: Dec 07, 2007 10:36 am
by John
Anytime after winter officially starts, or around the new year!

PostPosted: Dec 07, 2007 11:36 am
by kHT
I totally agree with John, we started ours early due to we had room in the greenhouse. I can tell you they aren't hard to start. I had some awsome seedlings from a lady in Canada that bloomed this year, got to love the blue blooming ones!

Re: Clematis Seeds

PostPosted: Feb 21, 2012 3:14 am
by bobhebba
Is there anything you can do to speed up the germination process?

Re: Clematis Seeds

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2012 10:58 am
by kHT
We do bottom heat and direct light.