May 20, 2015

Tree and Bush Rooting Time

Tis the season……
May, June, July, August & September are the months to reproduce new plants from stem cuttings.  I never really had any luck with it. Why you may ask. Because I over thought it. With hormones and this and that.  The the old women next door said you are doing it wrong. Let me show you. 

  • All you need are:
  • A clean pot
  • New Potting soil
  • A wide mouth jar or cut large soda bottle with the bottom cut off
  • Pruners and a small knife
  • And some honey! 

Ok there are 4 different kinds of clippings.....  herbaceous cuttings, soft wood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings and hardwood cuttings.
The type of cutting and the timing for the propagation depend upon the plant. That’s because not all plants have the same growing habits or needs. Mostly because each plant has a growing season. so before cutting learn about the cycle of the tree, it growth habits. This will help to insure greater propagation success. Some outdoor plants are quickly propagated by simply cutting a leaf or a branch and inserting it into a vase of water on a bright or sunny window sill. The down side of rooting a clipping in water is that the roots are often very brittle and will break or degrade when planted in soil.
A much better way to start stem cuttings is by properly preparing the it and planting it into sterile soil.

Fill the pots with  the new soil. 

Reason for the wide mouthed jars
Simple, stem cuttings need a lot of moisture to help the roots grow. You will be putting the jar over the cuttings once they are in the pot. (Like a green house) You can use large soda bottles (just make sure to clean the really good).
When to do the cutting
The best time to do your clippings are in the morning. This is when plants are at the most hydrated state. Place them in a bucket of water while waiting to plant them. This will help reduce the stress on them.

When looking at the plant you are going to cut notice you have leaves that are in fully open and some that are not.  Try to cut the ones that are still growing. And cut near a V section. The section on the stem where the off shoot branch or the V notch contains specialized cells or growth nodes that will readily root the stem section once it is properly prepared. 

So now we use the knife and the honey.
First make sure to strip around 2/3rds of the leaves from the stem…we want all the work to be dedicated to rooting not feeding the leaves. Now take the knife and gently scrape away the bark off the clipping…around 2 inches. Make sure the white part of the stem is exposed. Now on the scraped area pierce the stem in a few places (not to deep) this is where the roots will form.

Time for the honey
Dip that end you just scraped and pierced into some honey. (you can use the rooting hormone powder if you prefer but I have had better luck with the honey).

Now just stick the honey dip clipping into the pot of soil (make sure that the soil is nicely watered already). Make sure to stick it in past the scraped part at least and inch or so. Pat the soil around it to make sure it stands firm.

Almost there.....
Now just place the jar or cut soda bottle over the clipping making sure it has enough room.
Then flood the pot with water and put it in a semi shade area for 8 to 12 weeks.

Make sure to...
Keep the soil moist, DO NOT OVER WATER!  To much or to little water will end in death of the clipping ...moist!

In around 4 to 5 weeks the roots will start to appear. After around the 6th week take the jar off the top of the clipping for a few hours a day so it can get use the the environment. If it starts to wilt get the jar back on and give it a day or two before taking it off again.

Come October you can transplant them into the ground. At around 16 weeks old . Make sure to mulch them good and with any luck they will survive the winter and you have a new tree or bush.

Now you can can skip the pot part of this and put the directly in the ground. But the only issue with that is keeping the moist enough to grow strong enough roots to make it through the winter. I think this may work good with per-annual herbs and smaller plants.

Song for this post has to be  Susan Tedeschi - In the Garden

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