Randalls Island Park Alliance

How To Make More Plants

In Ask a Gardener, New Ideas and Expansions on June 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

By Aeong Aee Boo

Most of us go to a nursery to buy a plant.  There are other ways to “create” a new plant.  On Randall’s Island, I experimented making cuttings with several different  plants.   In spring and early summer, softwood cuttings can be taken from most deciduous shrubs and trees, as well as, hardy tender perennials.

On May 3rd, Merryl and I collected materials for softwood cuttings from Waterfront garden, Rock garden and Learning garden. Early in the day when plants are turgid, we removed shoots about 5-10 inches from parents plants. The species we choosed were Salix integra, Buddleia davidii, Viburnum, Cotoneaste horizontalis, Hydrangea arborescens, Hydrangea anomala ( climbing Hydrangea ).

Collected materials were put into a bucket filled with water to help the plants retain moisture . We made cuttings by trimming  the bottom of each plant  just below the node about 2-4 inches long and removed the lower leaves.  The base of cuttings were dipped with cinnamon powder.

We filled the pots with compost and made holes with a stick for inserting cuttings. Into each pot,  we inserted 3-4 cuttings and labeled and watered them. Then the pots were place in Rice paddy under plastic cover.

Every weekday I watered the cuttings. I found some of the cuttings were well rooted  after 4 weeks . The most successful species are Buddleia, Hydrangea, and Salix.

I removed the dead cuttings (Viburnum ), and the well rooted cuttings were hardened off for two weeks without cover.  After hardening off, I potted them individually on June 24th.

Instead of rooting hormone powder, Cinnamon powder would be effective.   I found that compost was also a good setting for cuttings.

My advice is to give it go and see what happens.

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