The Q&A Archives: Root A Snowball Bush

Question: I have a tall snowball bush in my front yard, more like a tree. I would like to know how to root it.I have tried everything.

Answer: Viburnum can be propagated by a variety of methods including seed in autumn or spring, layering, and cuttings. There are many varieties of viburnum: deciduous winter and summer flowering do best with greenwood cuttings from late spring to early summer. Evergreen viburnum root from semi-ripe cuttings in midsummer to autumn. Deciduous winter-flowers varieties will also root from hardwood cuttings if kept frost-free. Layering also works, in which you select a low-growing, horizontal branch near the ground and "peg" it into a shallow trench. It develops roots and then can be severed from the parent plant.

Greenwood cuttings are of new growth that is just beginning to firm. They should be about two inches long, with two-three pairs of leaves at the top of the stem. Insert the cuttings into the planting medium, just up to the lowest leaves. Rooting hormone may be used, but is not essential. It helps to pinch off the growing tip, which helps force more roots. If possible, place the cuttings in a covered environment (a pot with plastic over to make a mini greenhouse) and provide bottom heat.

Semi-ripe cuttings are taken in mid- to late-summer from the current season's growth that has begun to firm. The cutting's base should be quite hard, while the tip should be growing and still soft. Use 2 1/2 - 4 inches, and remove side shoots. Make a shallow wound on the stem by cutting away a thin piece of bark (1/2 inch long). This stimulates rooting. Dip in a rooting hormones and insert in a soilless potting mix. Provide a humid environment.

Hardwood cuttings are from mature, firm plant material and should be about 8 inches long. They usually take longer to root. I hope this info helps.

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