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Sunday, January 24, 2010

You Don't Need Much Space to Propagate Plants

You don’t need much space to propagate plants. In fact you can propagate a bunch of plants in some very small spaces like in the containers in the picture. Together I have 5 different kinds of plants ready for rooting including red twig dogwood, rhododendron, azalea, Purple Leaf Plum Propagation, Japanese maple, and Yoshino cherry.

Plant Propagation in Containers 1-2010-1

To me it’s amazing that you can do so much with so little. All together there are 35 cuttings placed into these two small containers. I like to use containers that look nice in the house whenever I do cuttings but I have to admit more often I find myself using recycled/reused materials. Even in a small reused (washed of course) yogurt cup you can fit 5-8 cuttings. In the above picture I’ve mixed the cuttings in no particular way but it’s a good idea to try and keep cuttings separated from each other by type. You can pretty much bet that if your cuttings were taken on the same day and are of the same kind that they will root in a similar fashion – give or take a few days. Keeping the cuttings together by type enables you to minimize the disturbance of other cuttings when you check for rooting.

By The Numbers:

Azalea Cuttings: 2
Japanese Maple Cuttings: 3
Purple Leaf Plum Cuttings: 10
Red Twig Dogwood Cuttings: 12
Rhododendron Cuttings: 3
Yoshino Cherry Cuttings: 5

I’ve never managed to successfully root a Japanese maple so I thought I would give it a try. There was a branch that needed pruned off of one of our maples and after I clipped it I divided it into 3 4-6 node hardwood cuttings. Hopefully I’ll get at least one of them to root. Many people have good luck growing Japanese maples from seed and some from air layering.

I rooted a Yoshino cherry last year from hardwood cuttings but the new little tree didn’t make it much past rooting. I think I checked the roots too often – patience is not one of my best virtues but I’m working on it! It’s one of my favorite trees and I would love to get a few to root this year.

Have you tried any hardwood cuttings this winter? It’s not too late to get a few going!

Tomorrow I hope to show you the results of some hardwood viburnum cuttings!

9 comments :

  1. You are right, you don't need much to root things (well, lots of patience!). I rooted several sweet olive (Osmanthus fragans) and the small cuttings are blooming!
    Thanks for all the good tips on propagating plants!

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  2. I've never tried to propagate hardwood, I'm wondering if this would make a nice bonsai though?

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  3. Your propagation posts are always so helpful! I am inspired!

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  4. Huh.. the range of plants and trees that can be propagated!.... My experience is limited to hibiscus, roses, ixora , generally shrubs and small plants.
    ~bangchik

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  5. You're right we don't need much space...but I DO need space that is away from furry little paws and inquisitive little teeth that want to chew, pull, disturb and otherwise be highly naughty.

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  6. Do you cover the cuttings with plastic to retain the moisture level?

    I know when you do softwood cuttings it helps, but was wondering how you personally did hardwood and what your results were.

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  7. Dwayne,

    I haven't had many issues with leaving covers off. I think it helps mostly with evergreens but usually I just don't bother with plastic covers. In this case I'll be leaving the covers off. The viburnums in my next post I never put any kind of cover on and had success with 5 out of 6 hardwood cuttings. I keep the medium moist. Using plastic may reduce the frequency of water but I've had success this way, so far so good!

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  8. Well, since your plants are indoors at least you don't have to worry about bugs. That, and the fact that it's freezing out. I almost loath the warmer months because of all the caterpillars that fall off the trees in my area. When that happens I whip out the organic insecticide. This end all stuff worked wonders on those inchworms last year. Here's the link since I don't think many stores carry it yet:
    http://bit.ly/afovHV
    I might try making my own concoction too, if I have time

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  9. I rooted peaches, oriental pears and apples before. You will know that these hardwoods rooted because they resist being pulled. Try to give them 30 more days for the roots to develop, and after this time, try o help the cuttings get off the soil by nudging the soil underneath it. When you repot it, sprinkle moist soil around it before compacting it. Do not water it for 2 days and slowly introduce water after that.

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