The Q&A Archives: white licorice plant

Question: I have a white licorice plant on my deck. How would I start new ones from this plant?

Answer: White licorice plant is Helichrysum petiolare. You can take softwood tip cuttings to increase your stock of plants. Mid-summer, during periods of active growth, are best for softwood cuttings.

Here's how: Using a sharp clean knife, take a cutting 3 or 4 inches in length from the top growing tips or vigorous side shoots. The cut should be made at a slight angle, just below a node (The point on the stem where a leaf has developed). Trim off any flower buds and the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving a stem with 3-4 leaves at the tip. Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone such as Roottone or Hormonex, and insert the cutting deep enough into sterile moist sand, vermiculite or sphagnum moss that it will support itself. At least one node must be buried, but it is better if there are 2-3 nodes covered. (The nodes are where the new roots will emerge.) Water the rooting medium well. Create a mini-greenhouse over the container with poly film over a wire frame (an old aquarium works very well for this) and place it in a bright, warm spot (NOT full sun). Keep the cuttings at a minimum temperature of 72 degrees, and you will be rewarded with several new plants in just a few weeks.

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