Taking Lilac Cuttings - Knowledgebase Question

Edgar, WI
Avatar for kim3115
Question by kim3115
December 15, 1997
What is the correct method for taking cuttings from a woody stemmed plant, specifically a lilac bush?

Answer from NGA
December 15, 1997
If you are trying to propagate the lilac, simple layering is, in my opinion, the easiest and most successful. In the fall, take a long, flexible limb (one that will easily reach the ground without breaking), and notch an area of the stem with a sharp knife. Dust the notch with a rooting stimulation hormone such as Rootone, dig out a small area of soil, placed notched area of the limb (dust side down) into the small hole, and cover with soil, securing the limb to ground either with a small stone or a floral pick. In the spring, separate this limb from the mother Lilac. There should be a new rootball at the area at which you made that original notch. If the lilac is on its own rootstock, rather than grafted onto a hardy or disease resistant base (scion), you can also propagate by digging up and replanting a "sucker" from the base of the plant. It will eventually grow into a full size specimen. Provide it with rich soil in full sun, and keep it well-watered until it gets established.

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