The Q&A Archives: Propagating My Gardenia

Question: How do I propagate a 50-year old 5 ft large leaf and large flower gardenia plant?

Answer: There are two methods of propagation that should be easy for you to accomplish. Both are best done in the spring. Take 3-5 inch long cuttings from terminal shoots, dip them in rooting hormone powder and plant them in a pot filled with sand or potting soil. Keep the soil warm (75F)and moist for quickest rooting. In about 4-6 weeks the cuttings will have rooted enough to be planted. Or, try a method called layering. Bend a supple branch down to soil level, nick the underside of the branch and hold it open with a toothpick and then cover the wounded area with soil. Weigh the branch down with a stone so it continues to make good contact with the soil. Water your gardenia as usual, making sure the branch touching the earth gets its share of water. In a few months, the wounded area will produce roots. When that happens you can cut the rooted branch away from the parent plant and pot it up or plant it elsewhere in the garden. Best wishes with your propagation project!

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