The Q&A Archives: semi-hardwood propagation

Question: I will be taking cuttings from my Ceanothus impressus,

Answer: Propagation through cuttings is the only way to have an exact duplicate of your Ceanothus. You can take semi-ripe cuttings this summer and they should root right away. Semi-ripe wood is the current season's growth that is just starting to mature, but is still pliable. You'll notice that bark is beginning to develop at the base of the shoot, but the tip is still green and pliable. Take 6"-8" cuttings, strip the lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place in a pot filled with moistened potting soil. Be sure that 2-3 old leaf scars (nodes) are buried in the soil. Keep your cuttings in a protected place outdoors (out of direct sunshine), and water when the soil begins to dry out. New roots should develop from the nodes. You'll know the plants have rooted successfully when new foliage develops. Growing medium should be fast-draining, yet hold just the right amount of moisture. You can use straight perlite or vermiculite if you set the pots in a tray of water (water will be wicked up to keep the growing medium moist), or you can use standard potting soil (water often enough to keep moist but not soggy wet). Good luck with your propagation project!

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