Planting Rooted Cuttings - Knowledgebase Question

Boulder, CO
Avatar for kristy78
Question by kristy78
February 2, 1998
I have (several times) taken cuttings from both a pussy willow and a grape leaf hydrangea in my yard and rooted them indoors. After they have substantial roots (well grown and long), I plant them in a standard houseplant soil medium, put them in a sunnylocation (in separate pots), and treat them like my normal house plants - water once a week, liquid fertilizer once or twice a month. They always die. The leaves fall off and they turn into a "stick-in-a-pot". What am I doing wrong?

Answer from NGA
February 2, 1998
This is one of my favorite are trying too hard. It is very easy to propagate either the hydrangea or the willow with a simple and very successful process called layering - here is how you do it: 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 plant. There should be a new rootball at the area at which you made that original notch. Replant the "baby" wherever you like. Provide it with rich soil in full sun, and keep it well-watered until it gets established.

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