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Thursday, March 20, 2008

10 Easy Plants to Propagate for Your Home Garden

Here is a list of 10 plants that are very easy to propagate for your garden that I have found to be extremely easy to root. There are many plants that could be on this list but I decided to stick with some that I have done and know for a fact that their root development is very reliable.

Here is my list of 10 easy plants to propagate!


  1. Euonymous fortunei - this plant will grow to be about 4 feet tall and wide. It grows roots extremely easily and will self layer if you let it!
  2. Red Twig Dogwood - Cuttings and layering work very well. So far my record has been 4 for 4 on red twig dogwood cuttings! The other day I made 11 more cuttings, hopefully those will work just as well.
  3. Euonymous alata - I did this as an experiment and probably won't make anymore since it is becoming an invasive plant in Tennessee. It is a very attractive bush in the fall with it's fiery red foliage. That's why people call it a Burning Bush.
  4. Russian sage - Greenwood stems work great for cuttings. They root readily in just water and even faster with rooting hormone applied to the stem. I plan to take many cuttings of Russian sage this year. They are a great plant for the landscape since they are drought hardy and look fantastic. They can also be rooted from hardwood cuttings.
  5. Verbenas - Verbena tends to sprawl and create roots along its stem. These roots are easily coaxed to become new plants. Putting the rooted stems in water works well, but using rooting hormone should speed up the process. I used the water method for mine and they worked fine. Edit: Verbenas will work in water like I wrote but root faster in a rooting medium like sand, sand/peat, or peat/perlite.
  6. Chrysanthemums - When a small branch broke off after I bought one last fall I put it in a pot and it grew. I kept it moist and in a shady location while it was rooting. Chrysanthemums work very well from cuttings! (Asters will do the same thing.)
  7. Willows - Willows will root if you just stick them in the ground, but a glass of water or a pot work well also. They have high levels of auxins (a rooting hormone) that helps to create the roots. If you have extra cuttings cut them into 1 inch pieces and soak them for 24 hours in warm water. Then you will have a natural rooting compound to use for other plants!
  8. Purple Leaf Plums - I didn't realize it when I started them but they root very easily. If you have to prune your trees and would like some more give your hardwood stem cuttings a try!
  9. Rosemary - Layering will work well with rosemary as does just putting them in a glass of water. Be sure to put them in a well drained potting mix as soon as it begins to grow roots.
  10. Hydrangeas - Greenwood cuttings from hydrangeas root very easily. I use rooting hormone for hydrangeas. Here's a tip: protect them when they are small, the rabbits liked mine! (This doesn't include Oak Leaf Hydrangeas although they can be rooted from cuttings.)

These 10 plants are just some that you could try in your garden. There are many other candidates that would work just as well. Annuals tend to grow very easily from cuttings so give coleus a try if you want a great place to start! One thing you should check out before you make cuttings is if the variety you want to take the cutting from has a plant patent. Many plants are protected from vegetative propagation (cuttings) by their patents for a period if time to give the patent holder a chance to market the plant. I'll be writing a post about plant patents later in the week so don't forget to check back if you're interested in plant propagation!




I Highly recommend this book by the American Horticultural Society on Plant Propagation. If you are interested in learning more on plant propagation this book is a great place to start! That is an affiliate link which if you use helps to keep great gardening content on Growing The Home Garden!

18 comments :

  1. very informative. i agree with it all, but i have had difficulties starting oakleaf hydrangeas from cuttings. good thing they self seed-as i had over 20 from my mother plant last fall. the biggest problem came when i specifically had to have snow queen and could not start cuttings. any help?

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  2. Tina,

    The oak leaf hydrangeas are more difficult than other hydrangeas to root. They get a lot of water loss so reducing the leaves might be necessary. I haven't had any success at them but I've only tried once. I will be trying them again this year! Mound layering would probably be successful.

    For cuttings try some greenwood cuttings with 3 nodes. Bury the first two nodes in your rooting medium and get rid of all leaves except for two and cut those in half. At least that is what i plan to do this spring. Maybe that will help. If that's what you did then it might just be a hard plant to root!

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  3. What about Lilacs? I have several of them in my old garden and I also want some for my new one. Since I spent so much on them the first time around I thought I'd try to save my money this time!

    I only ask because you seem knowledgable about propogation of plants. I have several young shoots I could dig up if I wanted to, I'm just planning out my next move right now. Any suggestions?

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  4. Dave ,

    Great post...

    I had trouble trying to get your post to open most of the day...finally I closed firefox and opened safari...must be my machine!

    Gail

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  5. Cinj,

    Thanks for coming by the blog! I haven't tried lilacs from cuttings before but they should root easily. Just take a cutting about 4-6 inches long (3 nodes), apply rooting hormone then place it in a 50/50 mix of peat/sand, or just sand. It should rooted in about 6 weeks or so. If you need more information try this post I wrote The Basics of Cuttings.The basic procedure is similar for many plants. Be sure to take a cutting from a branch that doesn't have a bloom on it. It takes a bunch of energy for the plant to produce blooms and you would rather have them work toward making roots!

    Gail,

    I'm sorry you had trouble, I wonder if anyone else did?

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  6. Dave, please explain why "burning bush" is becoming invasive in Tn. Good post, I enjoyed very much. Learned something I did not know. Will print out list as it will be helpful.

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  7. Lola,

    The burning bush is listed as a rank 2 invasive on the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council's lists. There is a link on my left hand side bar to their site which will explain more. It has quite a few plants listed that you wouldn't expect. I'll be happy to talk about that more, it might even be a good subject for a post!

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  8. lola, i am sure dave will do a post on the burning bush, but it is invasive because the birds eat the berries, poop out the seeds and then they sprout. this is the same with mahonia and some other favorites. a great alternative is chokecherry, aronia.

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  9. What Tina said is very true. Bird poop spread plants! Burning bush is also over-planted in many places which contributes to the seed spreading dilemma. I think they look great, we just should be cautious when planting them.

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  10. Hi!
    Just found your blog. I'm a new MT gardener, so I'll be back lots get some tips from you. I have been looking a lot recently for more info. from others in the area.

    I've recently been thinking of finding some willows to make some willow water. Have you tried to use it and is it effective? I read some things on it that said yes and then some that said no, but I would like to try it. I was actually thinking of using it on some newly transplanted shrubs (I'm afraid may be struggling) that I acquired from someone who no longer wanted them. Don't know if it would be helpful for this sort of thing or not...

    Thanks for all the info. on cuttings. I'm anxious to try some!

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  11. Hi Lindsey welcome to TN! I hope this site is helpful for you. There is a ton of information out there on all kinds of gardening subjects. I've tried willow water for rooting cuttings without much success, but that's not to say it won't work and doesn't help. What I've found is that store bought rooting hormone is much easier to work with. I think willow water would be a great supplement for newly rooted plants. It might stimulate the roots to grow more which would lead to a healthier and more drought tolerant plant.

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  12. Geraniums are really easy, too! Here in California, you just stick the cuttings in the soil, and watch them go, and go, and go!

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  13. Thanks for all the wonderful information. I love to propagate things. The book you have listed on the right is one of my favorites. I recommend to everyone that want to try propagation... Have a great week...

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  14. Great info, I love propagating everything that I can. I think it is the coolest thing when you see a new plant growing from a small cutting. Plus you get free plants!

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  15. I have buried the suckers from a lilac horizontally and each spot where it would have branched now is it's own lilac. Bury them in a line and you can grow your own living fence.

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  16. Anyone please ?

    I am in Malaysia, a hot country & my house facing west direct, appreciate to advise what type of FLOWER that
    can stand the heat & blossom well ?

    Thank you always, regards
    felicia

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous in Malaysia: see if you can get some lantana or vinca ( some call them periwinkles). If established early enough they will bloom their hearts out over the summer.

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