The Q&A Archives: Chaste Tree Propagation

Question: What is the most successful way to propagate a Chaste Tree? I have tried both seed starts and stem cutting. The stem cuttings were most successful but I still do not have a strong starter plant. I would like to build a hedge with these and need quite a few. What is the expected growth time on them?

Answer: The rate of growth really depends upon the environmental conditions. If you've had success with both cuttings and seed germination, I'd say you're on the right track. Seedlings (or cuttings) can be weak and lanky if they don't get enough light, or if they need feeding. Spring is best for seed starting; early to mid-summer for cuttings. Dip the cut ends in rooting hormone and set them in a pot or tray of moistened potting soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy wet and set the tray or pot in bright shade (no direct sunlight) for 2-3 weeks. Then move the tray to an area that will get filtered morning sunlight; wait 2-3 weeks and move it to where it will get an hour of direct morning sun. As the plants adjust, continue moving them into more and more sun. Eventually they will be able to take all day sunshine which will make them sturdy rather than lanky. You'll need to repot when the roots run out of growing room. When they're getting 4 hours of direct sunshine begin feeding them with a 10-20-20 (liquid form, diluted to half strength). Apply every 2-weeks. This formula is low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus and potassium which will encourage root and stem growth. By the end of the summer they should be large enough to be planted in their permanent locations.

Best wishes with your project!

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