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Propagation

September 21, 2018

I've wanted to document what I've done as far as propagation for a long time. I haven't seen anything that is very in depth about propagation with specifics. Here is the first of many about different plants and scenarios that should help to narrow down any misconceptions about plant propagation that might be out there. 

 

Before I talk about the successes and failures I want to describe the propagation medium, situation, and frequency of watering. 

 

*AHS Recommendations refers to this book by The American Horticultural Society on plant propagation.

 

Propagation Box

 

 

Dimensions: 2' x 10' x 8" 

Medium: 100% Silica Sand - Lowe's 100lb bag

Watering System: Misting system x 2 - Orbit's Misting System

Watering Frequency: Misting for 3 minutes every hour - Raindrip Timer

Location: 100% Indirect sunlight next to the garage (Helps retain heat)

Weather: Average Monthly Weather (Also windy daily which would enter through the small openings since the box was not airtight)

Zone: USDA 8 / 9 and Sunset Zone 9 - 11 (technically 10) | We seem to be a bit above and below of the zone due to weird extremes within our zone. 

Cutting Preparation: Very rarely did I use rooting hormone, large hardwood cuttings were cleaned around the edges on the bottom with box knife, no intentional "scoring" of the bottom of woody cuttings, and no anti-phytophthora dipping substances. 

 

 

Lizard/Animal Tank Box

 

Dimensions: Unimportant, but I saran wrapped the window screen top to keep it more airtight. 

Medium: Pumice and Silica Sand mix. About 80% sand to 20% pumice. 

Watering System: Spray bottle

Watering Frequency: Anywhere from 2 times a day to 1 time every 2 days. 

Location: 90% Indirect sunlight with the 10% being morning sun. 

Weather: Average Monthly Weather (Wind not nearly a factor as it is almost airtight)

Zone: USDA 8 / 9 and Sunset Zone 9 - 11 (technically 10) | We seem to be a bit above and below of the zone due to weird extremes within our zone. 

Cutting Preparation: Very rarely did I use rooting hormone, large hardwood cuttings were cleaned around the edges on the bottom with box knife, no intentional "scoring" of the bottom of woody cuttings, and no anti-phytophthora dipping substances. 

 

 

 

   

Successful Species

 

Crepe Myrtle - Lagerstromia sp.

AHS Recommendations - SW cuttings in Summer, Difficulty: 2

These would root from softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings, and hardwood cuttings. All were taken between late Spring and late Summer. One set of hardwood cuttings were taken mid Summer and left on the ground for a day, then I came collected, cleaned the edge of the bottom of the large cuttings with a box knife to clean the cambium layer for easier rooting. With softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings I'd say I had about 70% success rate. Some of their leaves wilted and rotted. Large hardwood cuttings has been near 100% so far. 

 

Waxleaf Privet - Ligustrum Japonicum

AHS Recommendations - SW/SH from early to midsummer, Difficulty: 1. HW from late autumn to midwinter, Difficulty: 1

These root fairly easily without too much work. You can take SW, SH, and HW cuttings. Hardwood cuttings took extremely well under the constant wet conditions. With SW cuttings I had a lower success rate around like 60% - 80%. 

 

Boxwood - Buxus sp.

AHS Recommendations - SW/SH early summer to late autumn, Difficulty: 1

The SW cuttings will root with an almost 100% success rate. I haven't taken any hardwood cuttings, but heard that they root just as well. 

 

Green Japanese Maple - Acer Palmatum

AHS Recommendations - SW early summer, Difficulty: 2

These had a low success rate. I would say about 40% with the SW cuttings that I took. They also didn't transplant well due to being in an almost out of zone area here. I had a few larger hardwood cuttings that I took in Summer that rooted, but I wasn't able to keep them once I got them out (personal flaws and care taking problems). 

 

Barberry - Berberis (Specifically Crimson Pygmy)

AHS Recommendations - SH midsummer and HW in winter, Difficulty: 2

I took only a few SW cuttings of this and they all rooted wonderfully. 100% success rate and it lived in the box for a few months. 

 

Star Jasmine - Trachelospermum jasminoides

AHS Recommendations - SW/SH cuttings in Summer/Autumn, Difficulty: 1

I took a few cuttings and the only ones that didn't survive were due to the mist nozzle plugging that resulted in no water being delivered to that area. 

 

Burning Bush - Euonymus Japonicus

AHS Recommendations - SW/SH/HW cuttings from Spring to Fall, Difficulty: 1

These did great and rooted super easy with a high success rate. They also transplanted well and survived a few knockdowns from the dog, and emergency repots midsummer from the same thing.

 

Fruitless Mulberry - Morus sp.

AHS Recommendations - HW cuttings late Autumn, Difficulty: 2

I had around a 70% success rate with rooting SW cuttings of Fruitless Mulberry. I also took cuttings from the root graft of a fruitless mulberry and they rooted fine as well as a SW cutting. I also was able to take HW cuttings while leaving on the leaves. It rooted, produced new growth, and was transplanted into soil with indirect light outside of the propagation box. This all happened midsummer. 

 

Pomegranate - Punica Granatum

AHS Recommendations - Not found

The pomegranate cuttings didn't do well under such wet conditions, but they did great and thrived in the aquarium tank box. They rooted really quickly and grew faster than any others to date. 

 

Chinese Elm - Ulmus Parviflora

AHS Recommendations - SW/SH cuttings midsummer, Difficulty: 2

These were really hit and miss, and the AHS section mentions that they need to make good growth to survive the winter. Suggests to keep them frost free and to pot them up before Spring commences. These did well in both the tank and the propagation box. 

 

Rosemary - Rosmarinus 

AHS Recommendations - SH/HW cuttings and seeds in spring, Difficulty: 1

I took softwood cuttings which isn't recommended at all, but they did awesome and thrived in the propagation box. They haven't transplanted very well once I moved them outside without major protection. 

 

Gingko - Gingko Biloba

AHS Recommendations - SW cuttings, Difficulty: 3

These SW cuttings rooted 100% of the time. They need good protection when transplanting. Several of mine dried out from the wind even with nearly 90% indirect sun. 

 

These are the species that worked for me. In the next post I'll talk more about the failures and what I learned from them.