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Propagate from cuttings

 
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I am compiling a list of plants that I can root cut.  I finished planting a bunch of willows last week.  I think Willow is pretty amazing but I have a feeling not everything is going to be quite so easy.  

Please, feel free to add to the list!

Keep in mind you will have more success propagating if you cut the right wood at the right time.  Dormant/ Not Dormant and Hardwood/Softwood.  With fruit like apples be aware that a cutting will not have the same rootstock as the mother plant so the cutting is not really a clone.

Rooting hormone is suggested for some propagation.  If you have willow you can use that as a rooting hormone.  I think Willow must be from another planet it is seriously vigorous.  It’s like the comfrey of deciduous trees.  The following list is not exhaustive, not even close.

Almond
Apple (you may want to graft)
Apricot
Basswood
Birch
Blackberries
Black Currant
boxwood
Blueberry
Citrus
Crabapple
Elderberry
Elm
Fig
forsythia
Goji Berry
Gooseberry
Goumi
Honey Locust
Honey Suckle
Jostaberry
Maple
Mulberry
Pear
Quince
Raspberry
Red Currant
Roses
Russian Olive
Taxus
Willow (I just put the cuttings in a bucket of water September and October and planted after three weeks in a bucket)  The cuttings pushed roots and leaves…keep them in a shady area.)
 
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forsythia
taxus
boxwood
work well

apple, maple, and blueberry havent worked for me without hormones or bottom heating. Arent marigolds annual? and saint johnswort maybe by root division? its pretty soft stemmed.

i think you might have a few more options and sucess layering a plant than producing a root from a cutting. (I have cooler summer temps it would be a reason why they fail) I haven´t heard of maple cuttings taking root ever, but maybe because they are common trees that grow fast so no one tried. my japenese maple will not root anyway, I tried heaps. you can buy organic root hormones that help and are safe, but I have had no luck with willow water, it seems to just go foul. Asprin helps some as well maybe because its more concentrated and also sterile and has nothing edible for bacteria in it.
 
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Josta berry and gooseberry
Almond so I have been told
 
Scott Foster
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Arent marigolds annual? and saint johnswort maybe by root division? its pretty soft stemmed.

I looked up the Marigold and though there are perennial varieties they wouldn't be in my zone, probably not a good fit for the list.    

Regarding St. Johnswort there are different kinds, some types are herbaceous and some are woody. I know this because you made me look it up  I took it off the list because I think most would think of it as a herbaceous medicinal.
 
David Livingston
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Quince

David
 
Scott Foster
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David Livingston wrote:Quince

David




Thanks ,it's on the list now.
 
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Goumi and elderberry
 
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For those in warmer climates - passion fruits, moringa, tree collards, sweet potato, cassava...
 
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Very nice - my kind of thread.
Basil. Mint, Rosemary, Citrus, Bougainvillea, Succulents, Gardenia, Ixora coccinea (West Indian Jasmine).
I had some success with all - herbs are easy, the rest are touch and go but we all get lucky now and then.
 
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Surprisingly a lot of folks don't know that tomatoes root easily!  One year I lost almost my entire crop of 500 plants to a late freeze, but I had a few plants left in a cold frame.  I let these grow, cut off all the "suckers" and tips for cuttings, and had almost my entire planting back, it was just two or three weeks later to produce!
 
pusang halaw
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Alder Burns wrote:Surprisingly a lot of folks don't know that tomatoes root easily!  One year I lost almost my entire crop of 500 plants to a late freeze, but I had a few plants left in a cold frame.  I let these grow, cut off all the "suckers" and tips for cuttings, and had almost my entire planting back, it was just two or three weeks later to produce!


I've managed to get 4 or 5 tomato cuttings to root but got hit by white fly infestation. Out of more than 20 tomato plants last September-November 2017, only three managed to fruit. Really small too, as though they were cherry tomatoes when they were the regular grocery variety.

I've read that cuttings were as 'old' as the mother plant - in your experience do they fruit sooner?
 
Alder Burns
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I don't recall whether the tomato cuttings flowered as if they were still on the plant, rahter it seemed that they acted like seedlings the same size.  Maybe if I had been able to disregard the time it took for them to root and then get established after planting out it would have been different.  Also most of them were from the "suckers"...the small sprouts that form where the leaves meet the main stem and I think these often flower later than the main stem anyway.
 
gardener
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Here are some plants to add to the list. These can all be just stuck in the ground though some are more successful than others. I have grown all of these using this method.

Black Cottonwood
Snowberry
Seaberry
Red Osier Dogwood
Pacific ninebark
Salmonberry
Red flowering currant
Spirea (Hardhack)

I'm currently testing growing beaked hazelnuts from cuttings just stuck in the ground (livestakes). I soaked them in a willow water mix first and then stuck them in the ground in small bunches of several cuttings. That was done several months ago and so far the cuttings are still alive but I don't know if they have rooted yet. I'm waiting till summer to see how they grow before saying if it worked or not. Tried it last year without success but I did not use a willow water mix and I got them in the ground late in spring.

Some others that can be grown from hardwood cuttings. All of these are native plants found in Western WA.

Western Yew
Hairy manzanita
Snowbrush
Oceanspray
Orange honeysuckle
Black twinberry
Osoberry
Mock Orange
Pacific rhododendron
Roses (at least the native ones in Western WA)
Thimbleberry
Blue elderberry
Red elderberry
Evergreen huckleberry
 
pollinator
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Great list!

Hi Daron, how did your hazelnut cuttings end up?
I've put about 60 in pots a few weeks ago.
Added water mixed with some soil from a big hazelnut closeby, hoping for some good kind of inoculation.
Willows are in the rainbarrel will start adding that water.
 
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I'm doing hardy kiwi, highbush cranberry and aronia right now and all are pushing top growth.  I'm not sure what I'm doing so hopefully they root.  I have them in pots of 50/50 peat and perlite that were watered well and set on a 75 degree heat mat in a cool bedroom.  There's a west window nearby for some light.  I'm not sure if I should move them into more light or leave them be for a little longer.  The kiwis have small leaves on them already but the aronia are just breaking their buds.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Hi Mike, i’ve tried hardy kiwis a couple of years back. Put them in the ground outside in december and in februari/march all of them had leaves. Then it became hot and they all died. So from that i take that they’re easy to get leaves but hard to get roots. I’d be cautious moving them into sunlight. Maybe try a few when you feel couragious and when you see they’re going for it move more in.
Good luck.
 
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grapevine
 
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plums are super easy, almost as easy as fig...actually all Prunus species (peach, cherry, apricot others) can be  cloned with cuttings.

of the hundreds of blueberries i have tried i didnt get that many, but it can be done =), just trickier.

have had way better luck with ground layering many perennial edibles... bushes and canes in particular...and definitely all the vines, like grape and passionflowers...thats the easiest way to do those - ground layering them.


 
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According to this post, Chilean Guava can be propagated easily without rooting hormone.
 
leila hamaya
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another really simple tip that has helped me a lot is to do cuttings in low light/out of direct sunlight, or at least dappled shade.
once they take root they are ready for real light or sunlight, but while convincing them to root out it works way better for me putting them in dark spaces, with only some light, or a low level electric light...but given them lots of shade or darkness at first.
 
Daron Williams
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I'm currently testing growing beaked hazelnuts from cuttings just stuck in the ground (livestakes). I soaked them in a willow water mix first and then stuck them in the ground in small bunches of several cuttings. That was done several months ago and so far the cuttings are still alive but I don't know if they have rooted yet. I'm waiting till summer to see how they grow before saying if it worked or not. Tried it last year without success but I did not use a willow water mix and I got them in the ground late in spring.



Hello all, I wanted to give an update to my test. I'm afraid that none of my cuttings survived the summer. But I did have a number of them leaf out and even start growing but they did not develop enough roots to survive the extreme drought we had.

I'm still not convinced that they can't be grown this way since the soils I put them in were fairly poor. Since the experiment I have mulched the area heavily and just today I was out digging there and the soil has already improved a lot. When I did the live staking I had to pound in a metal post first to get a hole that I could put the cuttings into. But today I could dig fairly easily just using a shovel. It is amazing what mulching can do to improve the soil!

One day I will run this test again with a few changes but I wanted to update you all on the results of the test.
 
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Daron Williams wrote:

I'm currently testing growing beaked hazelnuts from cuttings just stuck in the ground (livestakes). I soaked them in a willow water mix first and then stuck them in the ground in small bunches of several cuttings. That was done several months ago and so far the cuttings are still alive but I don't know if they have rooted yet. I'm waiting till summer to see how they grow before saying if it worked or not. Tried it last year without success but I did not use a willow water mix and I got them in the ground late in spring.



Hello all, I wanted to give an update to my test. I'm afraid that none of my cuttings survived the summer. But I did have a number of them leaf out and even start growing but they did not develop enough roots to survive the extreme drought we had.

I'm still not convinced that they can't be grown this way since the soils I put them in were fairly poor. Since the experiment I have mulched the area heavily and just today I was out digging there and the soil has already improved a lot. When I did the live staking I had to pound in a metal post first to get a hole that I could put the cuttings into. But today I could dig fairly easily just using a shovel. It is amazing what mulching can do to improve the soil!

One day I will run this test again with a few changes but I wanted to update you all on the results of the test.

 

I might suggest that you run a control when you do this experiment the next time.  Put your control samples in a nursery like environment.  They should root and grow nicely, and it proves that the plants you took the cuttings from were viable and the test conditions were simply too extreme for them to thrive.  Hopefully the next time that you do this even your test subjects will succeed.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
Hugo Morvan
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Hi Ralph, i am running a test with hazel cuttings right now. I agree with running tests to see what works and what doesn't. The scientific approach so to say.

But it's not always possible, i wanted the hazelnut cuttings to be in the earth in december, but they grew 600 miles away.
So it is already fairly late, but i've put them in pots so i can keep them a bit longer out of scorching heat and because they are around the house i can keep my eye on them to see if they need water or if they have bugs and remove the ones that didn't make it and start to rot.
And by reporting back on here somebody else can take it and run with it.
Maybe someone will chime in and say something like, " I guess you guys are using this and this variety, i've planted this ancient variety i found on this settler farm of my great old uncle and it gives the best hazels and they're super easy to take cuttings from, and i'll send them to you if you pay postage because now it's growing all over my property.". Agreed that is probably just my super hopeful fantasy.

Maybe there should be a special forum for propagation experiments on Permies where you can say what you're experimenting with, how you did it, and how you failed/succeeded and with a short explanation of why. So that if you're going to do a shady cuttings experiment, you can have a look at the do and donts, and everybody can learn from each others mistakes.      
 
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Can anyone please give a description of methods they've used to have success with cuttings? When did you take the cuttings? did you use rooting hormone or willow water (or nothing at all)? Did you use heat mats or some sort of greenhousing?

There's a high demand where I am for trees and shrubs. I'm involved with a lot of food forestry projects and we need plants cheaply. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
leila hamaya
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hey james- i have taken quite a lot of cuttings over the years, i am not saying that all those were successful though...and actually my overall rate of getting it to work is likely very low.
some things are much easier than others, fig and plum are 2 very easy ones...willow is extremely easy...but some are much trickier and i will only get one or 2 out of a dozen or so.

this is a major reason i am more into doing ground layering, because that just about always works, is much quicker and easier...although it does take a few months to work sometimes. but yeah my results with ground layering are close to 100%, and it only takes a minute to do it up....then you come back a few months later and dig up your ground layered plants with really nice roots they develop before being cut from the mother plant.

but here's some info that partly answers your questions, for most plants the time is NOW, this ...when plants are just coming out of dormancy is an excellent time to take cuttings. this is also a good time for ground layering plants. theres a few plants that people say to take cuttings in summer (grapes are one) and also late in fall can also be ok for many plants.

i do tend to use a humidity dome...and it does help. if you dont want to purchase a set up like this with a proper humidity dome over a tray...you can use the cheap way with using saran wrap or a plastic bag over your whole pot. use some sticks perhaps to hold up your makeshift humidity dome with the plastic bag method....wrapping the plastic bag (clear) around your pot with the cuttings and seal it up to keep in humidity.

and yes i use regular rooting hormone....no preference really as to type, they all work about the same.it is not strictly necessary though.

some other tips - rule of green thumb for cuttings is bigger than a pencil in diameter. smaller than that rarely works. another tip, remove most leaves from your cutting once cut. i generally leave the very tip top leaves...but strip off all other leaves. and my third tip is to keep them in low light situations, or even total darkness for the first day or three.
 
pusang halaw
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James Landreth wrote:...success with cuttings? When did you take the cuttings? did you use rooting hormone or willow water (or nothing at all)? Did you use heat mats or some sort of greenhousing

I've been doing herb cuttings for almost a decade and it's fairly easy. the past few years i got better with tropical ornamental plants and it's been touch and go with 20-30 percent success rate on various hibiscus and the others i listed on an earlier post on this thread. 2019 i went at it even harder and now i can successfully root 6 out of 10 cuttings.

I've never used rooting hormone, willow water (willow is hard to come by here in the tropics), or cinnamon. I don't expose the cuttings to direct sunlight for the first 3-4 weeks. I use old baking sheets and paint pans as a wicking bed for my dixie cups and make sure to keep the water level high and close to the brim daily. Don't need heat mats here in the suburbs so close the the equator - it's hot and humid much of the year.

Last month I tried the 'enclosed' trick i've seen a few people do in youtube where one uses those storage bins available at office supply depots but just got two basil cuttings (out of 8 or more) to root. i think it's just incredibly hot and humid this time of year here where i live and surmise the plants 'cooked' in the bin (i kept it beneath a lawn chair). Similar trick would be to use cellophane bags the same size as the cups to cover the cutting and keep it 'breathing the same atmosphere' until it develops roots.

But before you even start, see this incredibly helpful video (by the late great Geoff Hamilton) where i first learned to do cuttings properly:
(just 110 seconds that you'll be glad to spare)
 
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I am propagating Robinia pseudoacacia via root cuttings.

I've had success with trying to root cuttings of green wood, but not near as successful as root cuttings.

I dig plants that are .5-1.5" caliper and take cut sections of roots with hair roots and transplant each.

Looking to pick up this book for reference as propagating ventures escalate:  https://www.amazon.com/American-Horticultural-Society-Propagation-Plant/dp/0789441160

 
Hugo Morvan
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Hi James, maybe check out the Plant Propagator's Bible book by Miranda Smith, it speaks of many plants/shrubs and trees and the methods to get them propagated from seed, layering,mound layering, hardwood cuttings,softwood cuttings, semi ripe cuttings,greenwood leaf cuttings, grafting techniques, rhizomes etc,etc, as well it gives a lot of plant specific information on how to do propagate certain plants best.
 
Mike Jay
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leila hamaya wrote:for most plants the time is NOW, this ...when plants are just coming out of dormancy is an excellent time to take cuttings.

 Thanks for that Leila!  I took some aronia cuttings a month ago and the buds kind of opened and they died.  I took more a week ago and the buds are open and I see baby leaves.  No guarantee of roots but at least they got a bit farther.
 
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the trick with cuttings is a relentless 'never give up, never surrender' attitude and keep doing it and doing lots of it. here's a tray of red hibiscus i started two weeks ago:
 
Hugo Morvan
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My little nursery contains sage, mint, glycerine, comfrey, japanese quince, laurel, tarragon and sea buckthorn had some roots
Figs ,campsis, forsythia and hazels were real cuttings.
The hazels are doing better then i expected 33 of 48 show some kind of leavea coming, a few look promising, like they have enough foliage to get energy for making roots. I got a rainbarrel closeby full of water and cuttings of willow which have grown roots, i use this water every week and poor it with all the nursery to promote root growth.
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Scott Foster
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Hugo Morvan wrote:My little nursery contains sage, mint, glycerine, comfrey, japanese quince, laurel, tarragon and sea buckthorn had some roots
Figs ,campsis, forsythia and hazels were real cuttings.
The hazels are doing better then i expected 33 of 48 show some kind of leavea coming, a few look promising, like they have enough foliage to get energy for making roots. I got a rainbarrel closeby full of water and cuttings of willow which have grown roots, i use this water every week and poor it with all the nursery to promote root growth.




Looking good Hugo.  Last fall I propagated hazelnuts using the method shown at around 3:30 in the following video.  I culled 7 or 9 (I don't remember)  viable cuttings with roots from 3 varieties of hazel.  I replanted these a couple of weeks ago and they are all leafing.  

 
                                      
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I root my cuttings in a sandbox with misters set to go off for about 3 seconds every 10 mins or so, depending on the weather. Here's it full of figs, elderberries, peppermint and other random assortments. What I love about it is that once they root, you can just shake the sand off and you're left with a somewhat bareroot plant that you can pot up or plant somewhere.
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Hugo Morvan
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Things are changing at my hazelcuttings, some are doing good, some have given up. The ones that are doing good are a lot thicker than a pencil, 13 mm or half an inch. I've pulled out some dead ones and was surprised some had formed a tiny root. So i am hopeful the fatter ones will root over the summer in the shade.
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Scott Foster
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Hugo,

Good to see you still have some doing well.   I planted my air-layered Hazels in a newly chipped area.  They are pretty unprotected. I think I lost a few.  Here are some pictures of the immature mother plants and the babies.  
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Hugo Morvan
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Wow Scott! Amazing result, i've never tried air layering before, but will give it a shot if one of my hazel cuttings get established. It is a quicker way to increase your hazel stock because you probably could air layer these again somewhere in the next year while i would have to wait four years before i can get cuttings. Exponential growth is easier with air layering. When did you air layer them?
 
James Landreth
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Is now an inappropriate time to air layer?
 
Scott Foster
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James Landreth wrote:Is now an inappropriate time to air layer?



Hi James,  

From what I've read the premium time to air-layer is early spring so you get the flush.  I do things when I think about them or they don't get done.  These were done in late summer last year and taken in early spring.  Basically, I did it wrong and it still worked.  I didn't have a mass of roots but I had enough.  I didn't get the

spring flush.  As long as you put enough dirt and chips on top of the layers to keep them moist I think you could do it any time.   You can also take the cuttings in the fall if you do it early enough.   Long story short I think anytime you can work the soil will work.

I will do the next batch this summer and leave them until next spring.

The gentleman in the video above says he gets roots in two to three months and gets roots in the fall and spring.
 
Scott Foster
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Wow Scott! Amazing result, i've never tried air layering before, but will give it a shot if one of my hazel cuttings get established. It is a quicker way to increase your hazel stock because you probably could air layer these again somewhere in the next year while i would have to wait four years before i can get cuttings. Exponential growth is easier with air layering. When did you air layer them?




Thanks, Hugo.  Once you get some mamma plants I would definitely give it a go.  IF these hazels were more mature I could get a lot of layers.   But hey going from 3 plants to 10 is a start.


I layered these in summer and took the cuttings in early spring.    Supposedly you can do them early spring and harvest in the fall.   The prime method is to get the spring flush in, which I didn't do, but still got roots.
 
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