The Q&A Archives: Propagating Lilac And Camellia

Question: We have recently sold an older home with establised shrubs. Two favorites are the lilac and camellia plants. I would like to take cuttings to new home. What do we do to start babies from mother plants?

Answer: I love the foresight of preserving old varieties that are apt to be destroyed. Choose healthy leafy stems that are not too tough and about the diameter of a pencil. Using a sharp knife, cut the stem from the plant. Strip off the bottom leaves exposing a node and plant the cutting in moist soil and keep in bright shade and high humidity. You can use containers covered with plastic bags, or set them in the ground in the shade and cover them with plastic jugs. You might try both methods. Take as many cuttings as you can to ensure success.

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