Spring Garden Tips
Propagate Trees and Shrubs with Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

Expand your collection of trees and shrubs with semi-hardwood cuttings.

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mgm_audio_536_semi-harwood_cuttingsTake cuttings when the new growth has started to harden and turn brown. Use sharp pruners to cut 4 to 6 inch pieces from the stem. Remove flowers, seedpods, the lowest leaves and about an inch of bark from the bottom of one side of the cutting.

Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone for woody plants. Place the cuttings in a container filled with a mix of coarse sand and peat moss or a similar mixture. Space the cuttings so the leaves do not touch. Water thoroughly and cover with plastic to conserve moisture. Place in a shaded location.

Roots should begin forming in several weeks. Gently tug on the cutting. If it resists, roots have started to form. Now remove the plastic bag, separate the cuttings and repot into their own individual containers.

Harden off rooted cuttings and plant in the garden at the end of the season or next spring.

A bit more information: Abelia, Artemisia, Camellia, Caryopteris, Deutzia, Viburnum, and Weigela are a few of the shrubs that can be propagated this way. You may choose to leave the rooted cuttings in the container for the first winter or summer after propagating. Those gardening in cold climates will need to provide winter insulation. Simply sink the pot in the ground or move it to an unheated garage. Water whenever the soil is thawed and dry.

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