The Q&A Archives: Propagation Of Heliotrope

Question: I would like to propagate heliotrope from stem cuttings. How do I go about it? How long do I leave it to root before transplanting? Can it be rooted outside in the spring in Southern California? What is a stem tip? Thank you for your advice!

Answer: It is possible to root heliotrope from cuttings. Here are some general guidelines:

Use a well-drained, porous medium with lots of vermiculite or perlite, for starting your cuttings. Regular potting soil may be too heavy and hold too much water. Select actively growing stems and cut them 5 to 6 inches long. Remove leaves along the bottom inch of the stem. Have your soil medium moist but not wet. With a pencil make a small hole in the soil to receive the cutting. You can try using a rooting hormone to encourage quicker results. Place the cutting in the hole, then cover the entire container with a plastic bag. Put 2 or 3 holes in the bag for ventilation. Use a stick to elevate the plastic bag so that it does not touch cuttings and also to prevent
rain water from collecting and smashing cuttings.

I like to place my cuttings under a shrub or some place where they will get a little sun, but not too much. Do not bother the cuttings for 6 to 8 weeks. After that time they should have rooted. Heliotrope can also be grown from seed.

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