Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rooting 'Powis Castle' Artemisia

'Powis Castle' artemisia has quickly become my favorite plant of the year. A little pot I purchased this spring has quickly grown into this lush silver foliaged beauty in the picture to the right.  I really didn't expect this much this soon otherwise my 'Mystic Spires' salvia would have been planted further away but in a way it looks kind of neat with the artemisia enveloping the salvia.

I had to have more of this great plant so I set about trying to root it. Just recently I potted up two rooted cuttings and took eight more! I tried two different ways (leaf cuttings and stem cuttings) initially but only found success with stem cuttings.

Here's how to root cuttings of 'Powis Castle' artemisia:
  • Find a piece of stem with two nodes and make your cutting beneath the second node. 
  • Pinch off any top growth in the center and leave only one or two leaves. The fewer leaves you have the less water it will lose which increases the odds of success.
  • Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone and place it into your potting medium. 
  • Keep the cutting medium moist for about two to three weeks then check for resistance. 
  • Pot them up and grow them until they are large enough to plant in your landscape!


Here is one of my rooted cuttings just before potting. There is only a tiny little root coming from the artemisia but it is just enough to get this plant growing. It began growing new foliage while still in its medium which is a good sign that rooting may have occurred.


Here you can see the root a little closer along with the rooting medium still somewhat attached. I don't wash it off since I would risk dislodging the newly formed root from the cutting. In this case I used a mix of sand and peat.



Here is the top leaf node of the cutting. I pinched it back during rooting to encourage root formation by forcing the auxins (hormones) in the plant to work toward making roots rather than foliage. Once rooting occurs, foliar growth resumes fairly quickly.



What new plant have you tried rooting this year?

9 comments :

  1. I'm a huge artemesia fan, but I haven't grown this one. (I've grown wormwood, tangerine southernwood, regular southernwood, mugwort and I think one or two others.) You're making a good case for it! Thanks for the excellent illustrated cutting-rooting instructions. Rooting cuttings is not one of my strengths, so I appreciate all the help I can get.

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  2. That plant is quite the grower then. I am trying to root a Gardenia 'Frost Proof'. I actually just started it Friday night, we will see how it goes.

    Jake

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  3. You did well to root them so early in the season. I've not had luck with softwood cuttings, only hardwood/semi-hardwood cuttings taken in the fall. I love this artemesia so much! Be careful though because if you don't cut it back in early spring it will take over and root all along the stem. The more sun it gets, the happier it is.

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  4. Pomona,

    By all means add this one to your collection! It need very little care and like Tina said it likes the sun!

    Jake,

    Good luck with the gardenia. Most of them aren't hardy here otherwise I would love to have one or more. They are very fragrant!

    Tina,

    It should be very happy here then! I'll probably do the hardwood cuttings later in the season but I have to feed my propagation addiction now. ;)

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  5. Perhaps the only artimesia I've ever grown is called "Silver Mound." :-)

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  6. The lacy leafed Artem. can be used as a tiny hedge. My grandparents had a yellow/green variety that most closely resembles Powis Castle.
    It was weeded into a ring around some old Roses, Iris, Poppies and Daisies. In Spring it was mown down with the lawnmower. It grew up again thick and all one height. I'm sure it took a few years but forever after is grew as a short hedge in a very attractive ring around this little garden patch. I am still trying to get
    starts of the yellow/grey/green
    variety established at my house.
    I have not had good luck with this.
    In fact, I know of only 4 locations in Northern Kansas where this plant grew as a yard foliage plant.

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  7. Anonymous,

    That sounds like an excellent use of artemisia. 'Powis Castle' grows very fast and could quickly become a hedge like you describe. Are you trying to root an artemisia or is it just fading out due to climate conditions? Some artemisias reseed readily.

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  8. I didnt know it was so easy! Your photographs are really helpful. Thanks for sharing, Im ready to try this now!

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  9. I have been a huge fan of powis castle for many years. I live in Zone 5 and in the early spring, I have found that the branches have often rooted themselves over the winter. I have had great luck with starting new plants by using my spade and cutting them close to the base of the plant and simply transplanting the rooted branch. It's a very hardy plant and a great accent to any garden.

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