Just recently I checked some cuttings of Densiformis Yew (Taxus x media; also Taxus cuspidata) and found roots! Densiformis Yew is also known as a spreading yew and is a common evergreen shrub in landscape plantings. It makes an attractive foundation planting with its dark green needles. If you have animals fond of chewing on plants avoid planting yews since they are very poisonous.
Several weeks ago I took five greenwood cuttings from the yews in the front sidewalk bed. I bought the yews in our first year here from the discount rack for $2 a piece. They had some browning branches at the time but a little trimming was all that was needed to correct that. Since then they've grown fairly rapidly providing me with plenty of good branches for propagating.
I took greenwood cuttings about 5-6 inches long and treated them with rooting hormone and placed them in a small container of sand. I watered them and waited. And waited. And waited. I checked them a couple times. Then I waited. And waited. And finally after several weeks of waiting (it really is the hardest part of propagating) I examined the base of the yews and found the roots you see in the picture. Four of the cuttings had rooted but the fifth was showing no signs of rooting. I decided I would go ahead and pot them all up together for the time being and see what happened. If they all end up rooting, like I hope they will, I'll have 10 yews that I spent a total of $10. How's that for cheap gardening!
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Friday, December 19, 2008
Yew Propagation (Taxus x media 'Densiformis')
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Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.