Three considerations can encourage you to grow shrub seedlings yourself. First of all, getting your seedlings gives reason to be proud of yourself. Secondly, this is the only way to get an attractive plant if there is nowhere to buy it. And finally, growing your own planting material can save significant money.
Not all shrubs can be propagated at home, although there are those that can be propagated quite simply. There are different methods of vegetative propagation. The most effective for each given plant are mentioned in the corresponding description. Try propagating garden shrubs by dividing, layering or cuttings - you can gain a lot without risking anything.
© Matt Lavin
Some shrubs form small bushes that can be dug up and divided like grassy perennials. When planting, the earth around the roots is compacted, the plant is watered abundantly.
Best time: Late fall.
Examples: Periwinkle, Lavender, Dabeokia, Ceratostigma.
In many shrubs, new shoots form at the base of the stems or grow from the roots. As a result, the bush grows very much, and some part of it can be cut off and planted.
Best time: Deciduous - Late Autumn. Evergreens - early spring or September.
Examples: Derain White, Magonia, Kerria, Mackerel, Hazel, Snowman.
Propagation by layering
Shrubs with flexible shoots are easy to propagate by layering; for some plants (for example, rhododendron and magnolia) this is a natural method of reproduction. To obtain layering of a bush or creeper, the shoot is pinned to the ground. After half a year or a year, rooted layers are separated.
Best time: Spring or fall.
Examples: Barberry, Magnolia, Heather, Rhododendron, Honeysuckle, Lilac, Camellia, Forsythia, Lomonos, Henomeles.
Propagation by seeds is a common way of growing flowers and vegetables. For propagation of woody plants at home, it is used infrequently. The seeds of such plants hardly give rise to sprouts: some germinate only after a few months, others need a long stay in the cold to germinate. Shrubs grown from seeds will achieve decorativeness only after a few years, moreover, when propagated by seed, cultivars degenerate. However, some shrubs are easily propagated by seed.
Examples: Gorse, Clerodendron, Cistus, Cinquefoil, Leicesteria, Sea buckthorn.
Better to start in the spring. Fill the flower pot with soil. Lightly compact and pour compost. Sow seeds rarely. If the seeds are large enough, distribute them on the surface at some distance from each other. Sprinkle large seeds in the soil, leave small ones on the surface. Put a plastic bag on the pot, secure it with an elastic band. Place the pot in a shaded area. The best temperature for germination is 18-21 ° C. As soon as the seeds hatch, transfer the pot to a bright place, but not in direct sunlight. Remove the bag, water it and regularly turn the pot so that the plants do not stretch in one direction. When the seedlings have grown so much that they can be taken with your fingers, peck the seedlings into small peat pots.
Propagation by cuttings
A cuttings is the separated part of the shoot or root of a plant. Usually shoot shoots are used. From a specially prepared and rooted handle, a plant subsequently grows that is identical to the parent. There are some general rules for grafting. Cuttings are planted immediately after cutting, compost is compacted near the cuttings. Do not try to remove the stalk from the soil to see if the roots have appeared; the best sign that the stalk has taken root is hatching buds and the appearance of new shoots.
Propagation by non-lignified or semi-lignified cuttings
Cuttings with green leaves are selected from spring to mid-summer. In some cases, basal shoots are used for these purposes. Some shrubs are propagated by cuttings with non-lignified stems, but the main method of propagation of woody plants is semi-lignified cuttings, in which the growth of the current year at the base is lignified, and the top is still soft, green. As a rule, semi-lignified cuttings are selected with a “heel”. They do this from mid-summer to early fall.
- Apical stalk: 3-15 cm depending on the size of the mother plant. Trim the leaves from the bottom half of the stem. Make a straight cut under the internode. Dip the end of the stem into a solution of phytohormone.
- Shank with a heel": Separate the side shoot with the heel. Dip the end of the stem (2-3 cm) in a solution of phytohormone.
- Fill the flower pot with a diameter of 12 cm with soil.
- In cuttings of large-leaved plants, shorten the leaves by half.
- Make a hole in the soil with a pencil.
- Place the handle in the recess and use a pencil to compact the soil around it.
- Carefully pour the stalk.
Rooting in a greenhouse
Put pots with cuttings in the greenhouse. Shade the frames, ventilate in the heat. Water as needed. When freezing, cover the glass with burlap.
Break off yellowing or decaying leaves. In the spring, plant rooted cuttings in a temporary place. At the end of the season, transfer to a permanent place.
Rooting in a greenhouse
Place the pots with the cuttings in the greenhouse. Keep it at a temperature of 18-24 ° C. In the heat of a greenhouse, shade and ventilate.
Transfer pots with rooted cuttings to the frame greenhouse. Break off yellowing or decaying leaves. At the end of the season, transfer to a permanent place.
Propagation by lignified cuttings
Such cuttings propagate many woody plants. Cuttings are selected from well-ripened shoots of the current year in late autumn.
- In a well-drained area, preferably in partial shade, dig a groove 15-20 cm deep with one vertical wall.
- Pour 2-3 cm of sand-peat mixture to the bottom.
- Place the handle so that it rests on the bottom and rests against the vertical wall of the groove.
- Leave the upper third of the stem above the ground. The distance between the cuttings is 10-15 cm. Mark the cuttings with tags with the name of the plant.
- Fill the groove with soil in several steps
- Compact each layer. Pour the soil to ground level, loosen the surface. Water the cuttings abundantly.
- If severe frosts occur in winter, compact the soil in spring. Water in the spring and summer in a drought. The cuttings will take root and will be ready for transplanting about a year after planting.
- Dr. D. G. Hession. All about decorative flowering shrubs