The Q&A Archives: Propagating a Viburnum

Question: Thank you for identifying my Viburnum carlcephalum. How do I propagate it? I've tried dipping a cutting in root-tone in the spring time and it didn't work. I tried collecting seeds in the fall and that didn't work. What worked was planting a sucker from the root but it's an entirely different plant and the white flowers it yields are odorless!

Answer: Apparently, you have a grafted plant. Since grafting is fairly difficult to learn, your best bet is to propagate your shrub by taking cuttings and rooting them. Viburnums are usually rooted from cuttings taken in June or July rather than in the spring, so timing is important.

You could try the seeds, but they are a bit tricky. In general, viburnums go through a double dormancy and need three to five months of warm followed by three months of cold. To try it again, you should use cleaned seed, watch them for radicle (primary root) emergence during the warm stratification, and then move them to the cold. Good luck with your cuttings this summer!

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