Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Easily Propagate a Shrub

I love, love, love to garden!

Let me rephrase that. 

I love, love, love to garden - when it works!

When I lived in Iowa, I seriously could grow a brick.  The soil is so rich and perfect there - my gardens were amazing.

Oklahoma is another story.  We have drought, aphids, clay soil, grass hoppers, too much heat, tomato caterpillars, mold, squash bugs, etc.......and if that's not bad enough - lots of critters.  You really have to be serious about gardening if you're ever going to get anything to grow here.

One of my biggest frustrations - is the mold.  Not only does it flare up my asthma, but it makes it really hard to propagate plants.  I can take the most perfect little cuttings and follow the instructions for propagating to the letter - with 0% success because they get moldy.  Grrrrr.

However, I've found a method for shrubs that works even in Oklahoma, and it is very simple.

Find a shrub in your yard that you would like to have more of.  Look for the new growth near the bottom of the plant. Choose the thickest branches you can find that are still soft.

With a razor blade, make a small cut on the bottom of the branch - right where a pair of leaves are growing.  Do not cut very deep, or your branch could break off over time. Also, pinch off the pair of leaves at that spot.  Do this to several branches to increase your success rate.

Dab a little rooting hormone on the cut, 

Find rooting hormone at garden centers.

then pin the branch to the ground with a landscape fabric pin. Be sure to press the branch gently into the ground without breaking it.  You want that cut to have contact with the ground, but you're not trying to plant it.  Then cover with a little dirt.

Or, make some pins out of.......well, I don't know what this stuff is.  I just found it in the garage and made some pins.  Use whatever you have.

Finally, forget about it until next year.  In the Spring when you are cleaning the leaves away from your shrubs, you'll notice that some of the branches are stuck to the ground - which will remind you that you have new little shrubs that have rooted and can now be dug up to be planted elsewhere.

I started this little fella last year.  Most of my propagations broke off due to our powerful and constant Oklahoma wind.  I was so very excited to see that a few did take, however.

Isn't he cute!  By the way,
this is a variegated weigela.

I hope you have great success with this.  It's so rewarding when it works.

Thanks for stopping by,


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  1. Thanks so much for this gardening tip. I am going to try this!

  2. Thanks for sharing--I need all the info I can get:)

  3. I hope you get lot of little shrubs, Susan! Me too, Sandy. I need lots of help.


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