The Q&A Archives: Propagation of Perennials and Shrubs

Question: I am moving and while I don't want to dig up my garden I would like to have my plants with me. How do I propogate weeping Japanese cherry trees, azaleas & rhododendrons, peonies, bulbs (tulips, hyacinth, daffodils), forsythia, roses etc.?

Answer: Forsythia are easy to propagate--you can simply take a cutting and stick it in the ground, and it will probably root! Or you can dig up one of the sprouts that form around the perimeter. You'd probably be better off dividing your peonies, rather than trying to take cuttings. Cherries can sometimes be propagated successfully by root cuttings. Azaleas and rhododendrons can be propagated by layering. You can simply dig up your spring-flowering bulbs.

Rather than try to explain each of these procedures here, I suggest you get a book with detailed pictures. (This is a case where a picture really is worth a thousand words!) One good, simple guide is "Seeds and Propagation" by Susan McClure (Smith & Hawken, Workman Pub., NY, 1997) Good luck!

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