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Friday, February 13, 2009

A Russian Sage Propagation Experiment

The other day I had an idea.  Instead of taking my pruned Russian sage branches and just dumping them in the compost, I thought what if I tried to make cuttings from them? I've propagated Russian sage cuttings very easily in the spring from softwood cuttings and even some during the summer but I've never tried hardwood cuttings.  This may just be an exercise in futility but it's worth an attempt if I manage to get a few more good plants before spring starts in earnest.

Here's what I did.

I took hardwood cuttings from two of our plants in the front sidewalk garden.  Both of which had significant hardwood stems from the previous year's growth.

While I was prepping the sand in it the container for the cuttings I put them into some water to prevent them from drying out.

Then I dipped the stem cuttings into the rooting hormone and stuck them into the sand.

Last I made sure sand was wet and put them into a sunny window.  We'll see if it works.  I would do the same technique with red twog dogwoods or any other hardwood cutting.  There is potential for success but you never know!  Free plants are definitely worth the effort.


  1. Good luck with them! I am debating on whether I will cut my Russian sage back. It gets a bit of shade so I keep thinking the more sticks the better the photosynthesis. I may regret it.

  2. Good luck with the cuttings Dave. Let us know if any of them work out this summer.

  3. I've just followed read this post (excitedly) and followed your previous links... Thanks for all the tried-and-true information. I hope this woody stem experiment works. At least there's nothing much lost in the trying! ;-)

  4. I hope this works! My Dad has a huge red twig dogwood on his front lawn. :) Free plants are a GOOD thing.

  5. Looks like a winner. I may have to try this in the coming year. Does is work well with the Red Twig Dogwood?

  6. I have taken Russian Sage cuttings like this and a few of them have taken. I did it one autumn as well and they werent at all successful, spring is definately the best time.

  7. I sure this works for you. I am all about making more free plants from what we already have!!

  8. Cool, Dave. Thoughtful of you! Let's see how it goes... Good luck

  9. It seems you're always up to something Dave! Which is one of the reasons I keep coming back here. I should do an in-depth article on propagation some time. Perhaps even interview you for it. ;~)

  10. Dave...I have no doubts that it will work...you are the propagation wizard! gail


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