The Q&A Archives: Azalea Propagation

Question: I am currently trying to find out the proper steps of taking cuttings from Azalea's and the proper time of doing so. My grandparent's have some very old azalea's which are probably around 30 years old so I would like to take cuttings from them before something happens to old plants. I didn't know if airlayering would be a possible method. If so I would like to know the proper time to do so. So I would appreciate your help.

Answer: You can take cuttings from azaleas in early to late summer with a good success rate. Allow from two to four months for the cuttings to root. You can also layer branches and allow them to take root -- you could start these any time the ground is workable. This can take a year or so but it is much easier to do. To do it, simply bend a branch down to the ground in a "U" shape. Loosen the soil where it touches the ground. Wound the branch a bit on the underside where it touches the soil, and bury that base of the U lightly allowing the growing tip to show above ground. Cover the buried section with several inches of organic mulch such as shredded bark and weight it down with a rock if needed. Water occasionally to keep it moist but not soggy and check periodically for roots. Once a nice set of roots has developed you can separate it from the mother plant. Good luck with your project!

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