But . . . you can stick a cutting in the sand just days or weeks before the sand freezes. That’s the amazing thing about this business. You can take what appears to be just a stick, or what really looks like but is not, a dead stick, and turn that into a viable, living, absolutely beautiful plant.
I call this “loading up the seats of the Ferris Wheel”. Think about that. The Ferris Wheel come around and stops, riders get on, the wheel moves, more riders get on until the Ferris Wheel is full. From then on the Ferris Wheel remains full. Riders get off, new riders get on and the Ferris Wheel remains fully loaded with a happy screaming passengers.
Making cuttings is like that. I never think about how long it will take that plant to grow into a saleable plant as I am making the cuttings. I know that I am just loading up the seats of the Ferris Wheel. Once I have my Ferris Wheel (cutting boxes) full, keeping them full is easy and the secret to a perpetual supply of plants that I can pot up and sell for real money.
I love what I do! I enjoy making the cuttings and potting up the plants. I love being outdoors! It’s the greatest job in the world. But having people happily give you money for something that you grew with your own two hands is the most wonderful feeling in the world because people know that the plant they just bought is special. It was grown by somebody they regard as their friend. It’s very different from a plant they buy at a big box store. They know the grower! They’ve been to the nursery. They take ownership of that plant differently.
I urge you to get involved with this wonderful opportunity now.
Do it at your own pace, enjoy the ride!
Start filling up the seats on your Ferris Wheel now.
Visit this page for details.
In the next few weeks I will share much more with you about how I do propagation from cuttings.
Questions or comments about making cuttings? Post them below.
Terry Allen says
If I start cuttings in a sand bed, can they be pulled at anytime and placed in a pot with grow mix? I guess my concern is that pulling them out of the sand bed would shock the plant and therefore kill it or stop growing.
When stuck in sand you can usually get cuttings out during the growing season without damaging roots, therefore no transplant shock. The sand should be at least 8″ deep. Even then if they root into the soil below the sand you have to wait until dormant to move them.
Hey Mike, I watched your video on red cedar cuttings and it was very informative, but my question is do they need to be pruned when new growth occurs in the propagation box? Also should I wait until late fall to gather cuttings?
We are doing arborvitae now. And they should not be pruned because you want to grow them with a single leader.
ROBERT FOREST says
I’m having some trouble growing blueberries here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Soil here is terrible; I’m starting to use raised beds. The blueberries that I did plant in what purports to be soil have all but died, though we did have a long dry spell. Can I propagate the plants that I have left with your method?
You can, but if the plants are doing poorly, weak cuttings probably won’t do well. I’d get those plants healthy again then do cuttings.
Mike, I’ve done everything you suggested with Honey Berries and Currants and tada! it works! the cuttings are growing nice roots should I hold them in sand till spring and then pot them or should I pot them now?
You can do it either way but I often leave my cuttings in the sand until the following spring.
I don’t know if I missed this step of not but here is my question.
After putting the cuttings in sand, covering with plastic bag, placing in shade and keeping watered, What next? I did my cuttings July 18. How long do I leave them before I put in pots? I am noticing growth. is that normal? I live in middle TN if that matters. Love your videos, very helpful.
Ok I just went back and watched the video again. I somehow commented on this one when I meant to on the other one you did with small box covered with a garbage bag. I am assuming it is the same process. So, do I leave this alone besides watering until next summer of fall?
You can pot them as soon as they are well rooted. Usually 4 to 6 weeks.
John Amann says
Mike, I have a beautiful Rose of Sharon tree. One of the branches broke off. It about 6′ and would make another beautiful tree. Can I propagate this branch. Take off some bark, dip in harmone, and plant in some sphagnum moss mixed with sand. Would this work.
No, it is not likely to work. The branch is too large, the wood is too hard and it’s the wrong time of the year. But come winter, see this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
and this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2016/09/hardwood-cuttings-winter-of-20152016/
Ronald Miller says
Mike. I have been interested in trying to propagate some cuttings from Japanese Maples in front of my house… I also have a large, diseased, rotting from the inside out Maple tree in my front yard… I have never seen seeds on the Maple tree in almost 20 years, although it flowers in the Spring… I’ve never known a Maple being male or female, but is that the case here… At any rate, I intend to try and propagate it too… How long does it take, using your method, for the cuttings to take root… I will be cutting tomorrow, 11 June, 2018… Thanks
Japanese maples are not easily grown from cuttings and most growers don’t do them that way. The failure rate is way too high. Most are grafted to seedlings.
Good afternoon Mike –
Greetings from Montana, where in Billings, we set a new snow fall record with something like 105 inches. Just had our last snow only 3 weeks ago. So my question concerns propagating. In WA. State last year, coming back from the Napa Valley, I was introduced to the concept of propagation. Since that time I have watched several of your wonderful videos on the subject. While pruning our grapes last fall, I dipped them in the “dip and grow” and placed them along with different species of plants in some good soil. This spring certain sticks are coming alive, but nothing to speak of regarding the vines. Perhaps some color changes around the node areas, and two sticks show sign of a black, wet substance forming on a node. Perhaps the weather hasn’t got warm enough, today is one of 4 days in the low 80’s. How wet does one want the soil. Is it just a matter of having patience, I am asking for your help. And then, even if we do get some of the sticks to come alive, how much does one water throughout the summer, just damp, wet, or more on the dry side??
Thank-you, and keep up the work and videos that you do!!
Patience is important, hardwood cuttings are slow to root. Just keep the soil moist, not wet, not dry. I don’t even start thinking about touching my cuttings until at least July. But then the takers are good and the croakers are obvious.
Will this work for a Tulip Magnolia?
Also the video doesn’t say how long to leave them in the sand covered up, I assume it’s different for each type of plant but how do I determine when they’re ready to be planted
It should if you use soft wood. Details here; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Della Jackson says
Can you reuse the sand in the propagation box?
You can until it starts to get dirty and starts spouting weeds. I often just raise the boards a two inches and add fresh sand on top.
I put my cuttings in little pots because I don’t have the sandy plot that you guys have. Now I’m worried they’re going to dry out/freeze because the pots are so small. Any advice for me? Should I bring them inside the garage?
Thanks SO much! I am so happy I found your website!
It’s probably drier in the garage. I’d leave them out where they won’t get hit by wind and maybe mulch around them with leaves.
Cassondra Phillipsen says
Wonderful! Thank you very much for your advice!
Can this technique be applied to fruit trees?
I can but most fruit trees are grafted or budded onto a suitable root stock in order to produce the best trees.
Todd Lohnes says
There was a time when I had excellent results from planting Rose of Sharon upside down in sand with the bottoms about a foot below the surface. I’d say that I had about an 80% success rate and I kept them in big pots for the rest of the year where they all filled out great and some reached almost 2 feet and most had pink flowers, I think, but not totally sure about color. I put them in my cold basement for the winter where I thought that they would be dormant and alright, but they all died and I know that they’re late to start off, but I waited. I didn’t give them any water til the Spring, but a bit too late I guess. I had 22. They were on sale a few weeks ago for $75.00 a foot. That hurt.
Do them the easy way and just stick them in sand or potting soil outside during the winter. I do hundreds that way; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
Todd Lohnes says
Hi Mike. Instead of trying to put boxes of sand with cuttings in them, I’m going to try using complete large plastic containers with holes drilled in bottom and just sit them up on my deck where the water drains out just as easy. A lot easier to handle, but should I use potting soil or sand and these questions are for summer or winter time. And the plastic lids on top of these containers are pretty much air tight, but will the sun overheat these plants in the wintertime, ie sun or shade and have you had bad results in the sunshine full time?
Not a big fan of having them on the deck, they might be too dry and more exposed to the cold. It’s best to leave them uncovered for the winter. In the summer they need a cover if you are not misting them. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/ https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
karen smith says
I have 3 different types of japanese maples (1 lions head, 2 red lace leaf, 1 weeping red leaf and 1 weeping green leaf. i have tried unsuccessfully to root cuttings. this is very important to me because i am moving and can’t take them with me.. i raised them from babies and it will break my heart to not have at least part of them with me to plant at my new house. please help me.
They are next to impossible to root and have to be grafted. If you go to http://japanesemaplelovers.com/ I have a really good article on grafting.
Mike, I watched your video on how you take cutting from Emerald Green Arborvitae and root them. I would like to do the same with the green giant arborvitaes. Should I follow the same rooting procedures as the Emerald Green Arborvitae or do I have to do something different? Thanks for you input. Ron
Same method. We do them in July or August with this https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/
Mark Wright says
I’m trying to grow Winter Gem boxwood cuttings in my basement. I started with a 100 cuttings towards the beginning of October and I’ve lost almost 20% that were rotting or diseased (black &/or furry). They are in a mix of coarse sand and perlite and inside a white garbage bag propped up with sticks. I’m keeping them moist, but not wet. I’ve tugged on the healthy ones but no roots yet. They get little light and it’s probably only in the low to mid 60’s down there. Is it too late to invest in a heating mat and additional light or are they all going to continue to rot?
Perhaps I’d have better luck growing cuttings outside next year, I’m not sure how early I could start taking more boxwood cuttings. Could you please point me in the direction for information regarding growing cuttings indoors?
Mark in Victor, New York
If they are rotting and moldy I would uncover them and hope for the best but growing cuttings indoors isn’t all that easy. If you can get more cuttings take them now and stick in a flat and just place it outside. They will be very slow to root, but they will root. But it will take many months. Boxwood are easy to do as softwood cuttings in June, July and August and root very quickly.
I suspect your indoor cuttings are going to break dormancy before they make roots and that will likely cause them to fail. But maybe not so don’t give up on them yet. But I’d uncover them. Covering works for many things, but part of that is that they root quickly. Hardwood cuttings do not root quickly. With that said, we’ve been doing thousands of hardwoods outside, in the cold here in Ohio in December. So it certainly works. There is nothing like this, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/ for softwood cuttings. It’s pure magic.
See this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
and this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-winter-time-plant-propagation-can-home/
Thank you for the detailed response. I’ll be ready in the summer and hope to have better results.
Mark Wright says
Thank you for the detailed response. I look forward to June and am sure I will have better results.
Dianne Anderson says
I woke this morning, all anxious to get out, clip away, & get to sticking stuff in the sand bins I prepped yesterday. Well, it”s now 4 hrs later & I’m still at my computer, reading & learning great info from YOU. Any solutions?
I always tell the members. Action trumps all. You can study a thing to death, but if you don’t take action you are no further ahead. Better to trudge ahead and maybe make some mistakes. You can always correct course, but until you actually get busy with your hands you really aren’t learning much at all.
Les Orlick says
I’ve been trying to root my variety of olive trees with no luck,. I know it can be done what is the secret?
Please drop me a e-mail on what you might do.
Plant propagation is pretty much standard for many plants, try this http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm Of course we us this which is much more reliable and predictable. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/
Hi again Mike,
I looked through all the questions and answers and did not see my question so i wrote another one.. And then when it goes to settle into the blog, i see my question! right the next one! I am so Sorry! I don’t know How i could have missed it.. I will clip them then again tomorrow if that is ok, Starting the middle of June to take cuttings, hope ok. Thank You Again! Sorry to take up your time with all my posts!!
It’s not a problem, I want all your questions answered.
I wrote before didn’t see an answer though, and i was curious…I was wondering why when i cut tops off my Forsythia Lynwood Gold in the spring, the canes turned brown at the top, and those canes don’t have every blossum blooming like the new growth.. There were no leaves on the trees when i did this.. Maybe listening to too many people, and mix myself up… It is doing its thing with leafing out now, with especially new growth.. That is such a beautiful Plant, just love it! I would like a hedge of them!! This is my question, why did the stalks on the Lynwood Forsythia Gold turn brown (top 3 to 4 inches on most of them) when i cut them back only 5 “..when they were still in the dormant stage as new leaves had not grown on many trees around me. Did i do it at the wrong time??
Thank You Mike if you Could Tell Me What i Did Wrong?
Thank You for Your Time too in advance, in all your answers and remarks You sure are a wealth of knowledge Mike. I am so glad i can get your Utube teachings, even though i have A Lot of your information, i always learn something new if i watch it again…!
Barbara Kam says
A friend gave me a long “vine” of variegated Fatsia Japonica a couple months ago.. We made a dozen or so cuttings, dipped the ends in Root-tone and planted them in compost. About have lived and the other half didn’t do anything at all. Any ideas what we did right or wrong?
You did okay considering your cuttings were not covered. We use an automated system that keeps them moist all day. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/mikes-plant-propagation-kit/ An alternative method can be found here. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
I was wondering why the tops of the stock plant would turn brown or black on the ends, when cut in the spring. This is a Lynwood Gold Forsythia. It is growing leaves all over it, except in areas where they turned dark like they died up that far.. Thank You
Kathy – 4
It’s probably winter damage. Lynnewood gold will freeze back from where it was pruned. Just prune some more now.
angielski pks inowroclaw says
I almost never comment, however i did some searching and wound up here Propagation From
Cuttings. And I do have 2 questions for you if you usually do not mind.
Is it only me or does it appear like a few of these comments look like coming from brain dead people?
😛 And, if you are posting at other sites, I
would like to keep up with anything new you have to post.
Would you list of the complete urls of your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
or linkedin profile?
Most of what post is here at https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/, much of my older content is at http://freeplants.com and I also have http://japanesemaplelovers.com/. I don’t post much to social sites, even though I do have facebook pages, this is the site that I am committed to.
Jay Atkerson says
1) How do you derermine if a variety is patented?
2) Do you hace to be certified by the nursery association to sell plants in the State of Kentucky?
You have to know what you are propagating. If a plant is patented it will clearly say so on the plant tag. Like any business you must comply with your state regulations. I go into detail about all of these issues in my system.
Please send me your propagation of rose cuttings …
Sudy Burleson says
Do I do Black berry cuttings the same as in the vedio???
I’d do blackberries as softwood cuttings. You can try hardwoods or layering, but I think softwoods would be the best. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Sudy Burleson says
Thanks Mike, I will try both…
When propagating soft wood cuttings how would you transport them back to your house without damaging them or stressing them. Would it be possible to wrap them in a wet paper towel or nespaper and place them in a cooler to transport them. My other question is can you take cuttings from a weeping cherry and which wood be best to do softwood cuttings or hardwood cuttings?
Do you know where I can buy a rooted cutting of a lemon myrtle tree?
Ed Montague says
Mike , What is the best time and way to propagate rododendrum ? Thank You
At home the best way to propagate Rhododendron would be like this; http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm. Use a mix that is light. Lots of perlite in the mix, some peat.
Ted Cross says
Mike, I enjoy your tips and ideas, and always look forward to your next post.
I’ve got a fringe tree that I would like to take cuttings from, but am not sure of the best time or exactly how to go about it. Can you help me?
I would like to propagate my dwarf tree jasmine. I can’t find any information anywhere on the web. Any Ideas? Great presentaion. Thanks zz
When in doubt try this method, http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm in June or July. -Mike McGroarty
I would like to root some Leland cyrpress. How long will it take this time of the year an do you cover this in your back yard system. I am thinking of buying it if this info. Is covered in your system thanks OCI
Lester, Leland Cypress are easy to root but this time of year all cuttings are slower to root because the temps are cooler and the cutting wood is harder. In my system I will share with you a fool proof method of rooting plants that works almost perfectly, cuttings root in a matter of weeks. Not to mention all of the other information about how to grow and sell plants for profit. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
I have been watching your videos for awhile now … So I tried to propagate some of my plants using the techniques shown … figuring that there had to be a catch somewhere … it could not be that easy…. as I watched in amazement … They were starting to have roots… (Even my husband was impressed with the results.)
Thank you for all the info … you made a believer out of me.
great info as always…I use a powdered root growi product, is liquid better? how do you make it? I’ve read that honey works just as well, what are your thoughts. Thanks Carl
lynne woodside says
Dear Mike – Can I propagate roses the same way? I have a delicious creamy white rose with dark shiny leaves that I would love to have all along my fence – but it doesn’t spread – it climbs! Should I cut it way back every year to encourage fullness?
I am slowly preparimg my yard for a small operation of (mostly ) shade plants (all but my fence is in shade or part shade)….But I do want to propagate my rose…..Can you help?
Lynne, Here’s a how to video about roses from cuttings. You can do this now.
I live in northern Ontario, Canada (zone 4) and I’m interested in propagating an apple tree from our property. I was curious what your recommended method would be:
1. Planting soft cuttings in sand in the spring?
2. Planting hard cuttings now in sand to winterize? Or
3. Burying hardwood cuttings upside down in potting soil as shown in your video – “Make Hardwood Cuttings After Pruning Your Plants” – here,
Thanks, happy planting 🙂
Tanner, I’d have to say that softwood cuttings are probably the best way to go. In zone 4 I’d say do them late June. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Mike, I live in S.E. Texas where the avg. temp is 65-75 thru Dec. I have two boxes for cuttings . Would it be necessary to use a fine spray of water for one minute (can do up to six times a day if nec.) Tops of boxes are white fiberglass and one plexiglass painted white Thanks,Paul
Paul, if the box is covered and closed you don’t have to mist them. Just keep the boxes shaded and the growing medium moist. Will mist harm them? No, but when you mist make sure the cuttings dry out before they get misted again.
Mike , I am in S.E.Texas where the temp. here is 82 today 11/09/12 We have 12 hrs daylite temp will avg.65-75 into Dec. Should I set a one minute fine spray in the box each day .I can run 6 times a day I have one box with sand into ground 6″ and one 12″ deep box with sand 6″ deep Thanks Paul
del bouton says
I noticed earlier, you had advice about rooting grapevines. i cant seem to find it again. could you email me the site ? it had to do with grapevine cuttings in a five gallon bucket outside overwinter.
Del, here you go https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2010/10/grow-your-own-grape-plants/#
Scott Fisher says
love your videos.I would to know can i take the tops of my fruit trees that are soft and make cuttings. thank you mike for all your insperation. I have been gardening 49 years.thank you again Scott.
Scott, Fruit trees are typically budded on to a seedling in order to get an exact clone of the parent plant. However, if you can get a cutting to root it would be an exact clone of the parent plant, but maybe not as hardy a rootstock, but worth a try. Do them during them summer, after June 1st. More here: http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
What is the best time for gardenias in southern California?
When is the best time to make cuttings for Canadian Hemlock. Thanks again for all the suggestions
Gary, good question. You can try some now, but they’d probably do a lot better with bottom heat. Or try some during the summer when things are warmer. Most are grow from seed. Great market for seedlings, people are always looking for them. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Martha Vinson says
Mike–last spring a friend gave me some flowers from a very old white camellia bush– after the blooms fell off the “twigs” stayed green so I kept them on the kitchen windowsill—those things are STILL GREEN and it is the end of October and they are developing blooms??? …. every now and then I give them a mini pinch of acidic miracle-gro but no roots have developed…what say you…could I get them to develop roots somehow??? I have never seen anything else do this
Believe it or not, this is my 5th try, I know you get a lot of email, but I am still hoping to hear back from you about if it is possible to root Blueberries and Rhodondron this way. Please let me know. I am anxiously awaiting so if it is possible I can get my husbnd on making the box before it is too late. Thank you! Since I am having such a hard time reaching Mike, is there anyone else out there who is willing to help me with the answers? I would so greatly appreciate annyones help with this.
Trail and error! just do it like you would the others some take a little longer to root
Mike, Thanks for the very helpful video. I live in Western Washington and want to try forsythias. With our frequent winter rains and cloudy winter weather, do I need a cover over the box unless it stays sunny for several days in a row?
Cindy, probably not, just keep them watered daily. Or wait for the plants to go dormant and take your cuttings then. Once the plants are dormant the cuttings are much more durable because they are essentially sleeping until spring. However, sleeping cuttings will make roots while they sleep. Dormancy occurs after hard freeze where the temps get down below 30 degrees F. for a few hours. That event triggers plants into dormancy.
Mike, My son-n-law has a box similar to yours, bur he has other roots from the surounding plats taking over his rootings. I am going to make a box as well, but I think closing off the bottom will help without the rootings being taken over…any thoughts?
Carl, you have to be really careful to not trap water, then if you leave openings in the bottom the roots of your cuttings will get tangled up. I like to leave mine completely open and have had minimal problems with invasive roots.
Appreciate what you’re doing here. Thanks for all the info. Would never have tried using sand this way. I will soon be unstoppable! Carry on, bib-wearing plant warrior!
Bib wearing plant warrior? I guess that pretty much describes me doesn’t it? Have fun Tif!
Believe it r not, this is my 4th try, I know you get a lot of email, but I am still hoping to hear back from you about if it is possible to root Blueberries and Rhodondron this way. Please let me know. I am anxiously awaiting so if it is possible I can get my husbnd on making the box befor it is too late. Thank you!
Franny Rustand says
Mike, I refer to your site often for your techniques on propagation. I have had some success.I really like your videos and newsletters. Thanks for sharing with us all.
Mike can I use a five gallon bucket with a piece of painted plastic for a lid, rather than using a wooden box?
Scott, a lot of people use plastic totes that you can buy in the discount stores. Eventually the sun breaks them down, but they are good for a season or two.
I know you get a lot of email, but I am still hoping to hear back from you about if it is possible to root Blueberries and Rhodondron this way. Please let me know. I am anxiously awaiting so if it is possible I can get my husbnd on making the box befor it is too late. Thank you!
Jeanette c. says
Hi Mike, Great info!!!!! Can you tell me how to propagate hydrangeas? and what time of year? and how far down do I cut so that I’m not cutting off next years bloom? Can I plant them with this same method? Thanks so much for any and all info!
I have two Lace Leaf Japanese Maples. I thought they will set seeds in the Fall. As yet I haven’t seen any seeds. The trees are quite matured. When do they become pregnant with seeds?
Doni Whitley says
I always look forward to your wonderful blogs!
I have a friend who lives in Holland Michigan and faces the loss of her beautiful Mulberry tree, due to building by a neighbor. Would this type of cutting work for that tree? I have enjoyed, and benefited greatly from your easy to follow advice~ for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Our once bare yard has now become “That’s where the lady lives with all the beautiful flowers and trees” We owe to you, and our landlady is extremely pleased.
Phyllis Clark says
Mike, I bought the balls for air rooting the limbs you showed on UTube and now they are ready to plant. should I plant them in pots until spring or go ahead and put the in the ground? Thanks.
Catherine L Ross says
Mike, am I limited in what plant that can be hard wood propaated; can I hard wood propagate a cutting from a fruit tree, or a huckleberry bush? Catherine, San Antonio, TX
Thanks for another great article. 🙂 I love receiving your emails. I have learned so much from you, and my garden this year was amazing. I grew it all from seed, and this was the first year I have ever had success growing from seed. I was so thrilled with the results.
Allen Bruhn says
Mike ~ Can I start grapes this way, this time of year? I live in eastern Nebraska.
Allen, yes you can. With grapes the buds are really far apart so you often need a cutting 12″ long in order to get three buds. Make the bottom cut right below the bottom bud but not into the bud. You can actually stick them right in your garden after making the cuttings and they should root just fine.
Carroll Shepherd says
Is it possible to take cuttings from a “snap pea” flowering plant and propagate as with the other samples in your video? Thanks for all the great info!
Carroll, I’m not familiar with the plant. You can try.
Anneli Kelley says
Mike ~ I have been reading your emails and watching your videos for several years. I tried to do a big batch of softwood cuttings last June and only have 4 left. I used Rootone and planted them in seed starting mix. Should I have used sand instead? I didn’t think it would have enough nutrients for the plants.
Also, I do have some Jap Maples in maybe 12 inch pots. Do they need to be protected from freezing in our MD winters?
I would love to order your program, but I am on disability so $ is pretty tight.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Gladys Jacobs says
Hi! Mike, I don’t know if my first request took, so I emailing you again. Am I able to take a cutting off a camilla bush and grow it. If so, how is it done. This type of camilla that I want to grow, I am unable to find in it in a nursery and I even showed the nursery people the bloom of the camilla but they were unable to identify the species. This specific camilla is growing in the area where I live but no one can tell me the name of it. So if I am able to get a branch from them, will you show/tell me how to plant it, then Ill have my own. Thank you. I really would appreciate your reply.
Gladys, do it exactly as I am doing all my cuttings as you see on this site. More than likely it will grow. You can also try during the summer.
thanks Mike you are a real inspiring person!
Mike, I have a neighbor who has moved, but they left their Lilac and said I could have clippings off of it. Can I do cuttings and when is the best time to do this? Is it a hardwood or soft?
Dianna, Softwood would probably work the best for Lilac.
Thanks Mike, I will look that up. I’ve tried to do cuttings before, but I think I kept them too wet. I’ll just keep trying until I get it right. thanks for all you do. Great advice.
Hi Mike – Wonderful web site. Have you taken root cuttings from Vitex (Chaste Tree?) I have tried to root cuttings from Daphne (Carol Mackie) unsuccessfully……any ideas?
Thanks for your insightful commonsense advice.
Norma, I have no experience with them, lots more info here: http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Enjoy receiving your emails. I garden for the fun of it not for business, but I do have a question. What’s the best way to propogate cuttings from a fig tree? I live in NY state. Is the fall the time to make cuttings, should they be left outside over the winter? I’ve seen various videos on “how to do it” but they contradict one another.
Thanks, Steve, Long Island
Steve, I’m guessing that softwood cuttings during the summer would be the better option. Or the clamshell propagator from http://airpropagator.com
Judy Rummel says
Thank you Mike! I just love all the video and information you provide. I was in awe on how to do the cuttings. I am going to get my husband to build me a box. I live in Florida so alot of the plants I see on your demos I am not sure if they can be planted down here , they are just beautiful though.
I really liked the one with the variegated forsythia.
Thank you for all the hard work that goes into making these informational videos and for sharing them with us.
Judy, you’re welcome. Your appreciation means a lot because this is very time consuming but as long as I know what I do is appreciated I’ll keep doing it.
Can’t wait I’m going to built a box just like yours and hopefully have lots more shrubs for next year.
Carol Villaluz says
I want to propagate the cuttings from my zambac jazmin, do you use the sand box to all your cuttings? After they root do you scoop out the live plant with the sand and transfer it to the pot?
Carol, this sand box system is the easiest way for people to root cuttings at home. I have other methods that work even better that I share with those who invest in my Backyard Growing System. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm We do a lot of cuttings in late spring early summer using these methods because softwood cuttings done in June root quite easily. More about that here: http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm. When I pull the cuttings out of box I scoop them out but I shake away most of the sand. You don’t have to, but the sand usually falls off the roots anyway on most plants.
I want to propagate my blueberries now, but they have a lot of new growth on them. Can I use this same technique with them now? Or should I wait a little longer after they lose their leaves? I am in NC. Thank you
Karen, new growth actually roots faster, but you have to give it about 6 weeks from the time the new growth starts until you take the cuttings. This time of the year I would expect that new growth to be harden off enough to work with. In the spring you can’t take cuttings until the new growth slows down and hardens off. That’s usually about 6 weeks from the time the plants first start to make leaves in the spring.
Thanks great video..does it work with roses
Deborah Cox says
Mike, I have tried to make soft wood cuttings with Many different plants. They start off great with the plans you tell me to use. Then they get white mold all over them and I have to throw them away. What am I doing wrong. I use the sand and the plastic container with the holes on the side and made holes on the bottom. HELP PLEASE!!
Deborah, it sounds like they are too wet and too humid. Maybe the sand is too fine or you are watering them too often. The leaves really need to be dry most of the time and the sand moist.
Elmer Platz says
I’ve got the sand figured-out but what are you using for wood to build your boxes? Treated or not, do you apply any coatings or just let them rot. Thanks !!
Elmer, I usually just use non treated wood because it’s cheaper and you’re right. I just let em rot. Really takes a long time to rot and by then they have paid for themselves many times over. I wouldn’t hesitate to use treated wood and next spring when I build a new build for my summer cuttings it will be a permanent location and will be treated for sure.
Dolores Hayes says
Great videos, as always! I have two rooted Rose of Sharons that have been in pots for two years now! They have even bloomed (indoors). I’m afraid to plant them outside, since we have so many critters and probably some Rhododendron borers in the soil.
I’d like to plant them, but would now be a bad time? How can I protect them from predators?
Also, I’d like to transplant the parent tree–a very old one (at lease 25-30 yrs.). Is that doable, and if so, when should it be done? Thanks a lot!
Dolores, I’d plant those two potted Rose of Sharon right away. Critters? I don’t think it would be a concern. The plants will be happier in the ground. You can move the larger plant after a hard freeze. Not a frost, but a hard freeze below 30 degrees for several hours. Allow about 11″ of root ball for each one inch of tree caliper.
Mike what kind of solution do u did the plants in I want to do willows and poplar tree cuttings tks buddy doug from saskatchewan
Dip n Grow is a good choice. I use Wood’s rooting compound but it’s really the same as Dip n Grow.
Mike, thanks for excellent, informative, plain and simple videos. I have learned so much from watching your videos and reading your blog. In January, I’m applying for my plant hobby license so I can start selling.
My focus is not so much on plants but on fruit trees. I have two types of figs trees, a rainer cherry tree, semi-dwarf cherry tree, kumquat tree, plomelo tree, bananna bush, grape vines, musquine vines, blackberry vines, meyers lemon tree, and a quava tree. I did air layering using your video and it worked fine for the fig tree. But I was wondering for the vines and lemon treee would this method work well? All trees are bearing except the plomelo(8-10 yrs.)
Marilyn, I don’t do air layering but it should work for just anything. All you can do is try and see what happens. Good luck selling plants! I was just at a big box store today and I have to tell you. They are getting a lot of money for their plants! Even at 50% they are still getting more than the wholesale price. This is a great sign for folks like us. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Great & informative video Mike!
I am new to the growers group.
Can I trim Crepe Myrtle and grow cuttings from it? What about Rhodis, Hibiscus tree & Smoke trees?
Christine, yes, yes, yes and yes. Thank you for joing our group! You are among some of the most wonderful people in the world who make me proud to be associated with them. http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Thanks Mike for sharing your knowledge with us.
my question is, can this technique also be used to propagate a vine like Jasmine?
Scott, I’m not sure, but you can try and try again in the late spring early summer. At that time of the year the wood is softer and most plants root much more quickly.
David Green says
Mike you have nice boxes to, root cuttings. two questions what about freezing I know that it is on the ground and with a cover that helps. I live in the south ,in alabama so I know that it does not get has cold as your place . what about rooting the knock out roses is it to late thanks so much our family loves your site David
ed antos says
Hi Mike–always enjoy reading your posts. I have about 10,000 square feet backyard, much of it pretty shady. I have plantings that are shade tolerant (sort of). Can your system be used in an area that is sun challlenged?
Ed, most plants enjoy some sunshine but there is and always will be a market for shade tolerant plants. Both on the wholesale and retail market. In an area with that much shade you can also do a lot of propagation and sell rooted cuttings and one year old plants. Most of us face challenges of too much sun when we are potting up small plants in the summer. So you do have some advantages, you just have to adapt what you do to the conditions that you have. -Mike McGroarty http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Dan o'neill says
I thinkwhat you do and share is amazing one day i hope to get your program but right now all i can say is pop bottles and i know mike u know what im talking about have a great day and keep on inspiring plant people everywhere
Sunny south carolina
Dan, I hear you loud and clear, but keep in mind, pop bottles, Dogwood seeds, Japanese Maple seeds, unrooted cuttings etc. all have a cash value. In my nursery I have two Lynwood Gold Forsythia that need trimming again. Since I shot this video I’ve trimmed them several times and they need trimming again. When I trim them, once they are dormant, I can cut those cains into 6 or 7 inch hardwood cuttings and sell them as is with no roots. My backyard growers do it all the time. They sell unrooted cuttings to other backyard growers who root them and sell them. You could sell any of the above with how to instructions to folks in your local area and easily finance the start up of your little nursery.
Don’t think about what you can’t do, just do what you can. The other day I did the math again to figure out how much it actually costs to make a small plant and I came up with a grand total of 36 cents and that included buying potting soil and buying a container and a good commercial fertilizer. That plant will fly out the door at $4.97.
You can get started with very little if any money at all. After you’ve made some money buy my system and take your business to the next level. You can start without me, many people do. -Mike McGroarty http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm
Glenda Hurd says
I appreciate ur newsletters and enjoy them and the videos–always fwd them on to family or friends–keep trying to convince 2 of them to do it!!
Rhodadendrons please. My favorite flowering plant.I live in Florida and they say to hot for them. Will they do okay in a greenhouse? Although they are cousin to azalea I like the Rhoddy best as did my mother. Thanks for any info. Going to try your sandbox and the rose cuttings.
Diane Carter says
We have the opportunity to get some landscaping from a house that is being torn down. Ther are some good sized fruit trees, lemons, oranges, etc a peach and pomegranate. We have a back hoe and wonder if we can transplant them?
Cheryl Moor says
Could you do something on how to take care of Knock out roses in the fall. Mine have become huge. I hear cut them back and others say no wait till spring. Whats the scoup Mike.
Can you root Camellias in the same way and when do they have soft or hard wood? I have different ones and they bloom from Dec. to Feb. or March I think.
Barb Dombroski says
Mike, I love the propogation box’s you used in this video, my question is how big are they, and how deep is the sand, and can the cuttings stay in them all through winter. I have the powder rooting compound will it work just as well? Can’t wait to do this!
Rose McClain says
I tried rooting 2 pans full of cotoneaster plants to fill in my hedge with no success so about a month ago I started another panfull & yet no success. I have done exactly as you showed on the film & as I read in your book except I used a powder `Rapid Root`on the cuttings. Any ideas why they don`t root???
Duane and Beth Benton says
Is now the time to take cuttings from weeping cherry tree? Also we let it get to tall. It is about 12 feet tall, can we just cut it down to about 6 feet and then use some of those branches to root?
what about Liliacs. We have some growing off of the main root, how do we seperate those to multiply? Thank you and this is so fun
Wow this stuff is amazing to watch the whole process. I have started over 100 mimosa trees. There coming up nicely. I am new to your blogs. I do have to say this is very interesting.
janet ponder says
how do I start cuttings with plants that have hollow stems.Also how can I trim them witout them dieing back so far past the cut.
Dan Aaron says
You inspired me several years ago to get into the growing business, but since then my neuropathy in my legs and feet along with R. A. has left me unable to do much of anything. Thank you so much for taking the time to send me a note. I realize you are much too busy to do all you do. By the way we do own a florist but we can buy plants out of Florida cheaper than we can grow them.
What was the liquid that you put the cutting in?
George, it’s a liquid rooting compound. Dip n Grow is a good one, but powders work just fine too.
Hi Mike. Can you do this with Blueberries? How about Rhododendron?
Hi Mike. Still hoping to hear back regarding rootine bluenerries and Rhododendron? I know you get a lot of comments, hope this makes one worth replying back to.
Hello Mike, Thank you for the video. Does this work with poplar trees? Would you cut the branches into a few cuttings or use the ends only?
Margaret, should work just fine for poplars. If you want multiple cuttings from each branch it would be best to wait until the plant is dormant which happens right after a good hard freeze.
Cornellia Crum says
Can you also do azaleas
Cornellia, Azleas are easy enough to root as softwood cuttings which is done in the summer. But it won’t hurt to try them now.
Mike, can I do fall cuttings here in northern California where I live, where we never really get anything but a light frost? It rarely freezes here, so maybe nothing truly goes dormant? I’m new to all of this, but very interested in starting to propagate plants.
Sara, I’m sure this will work for you as well. Just keep the cover closed and make sure it stays humid inside the box.
Love all your tips and your attitude about making money.
Can I dig up the hosta now and split them?
Carole, Yes you should be able to divide hosta now.
Mike… you are looking really good! You must be eating right. I really like your videos. Be well!
MJ, thanks. I am eating better and lost a lot of weight. I feel much better!
Hello Mike, Love this video. The raised boxes are great. This looks like a good place for me to start my cuttings as well.
Rusty Jo says
Hi, Mike! Great video on rooting hardwoods. I have a bunch of cinquefoil/ potentilla bushes in my yard and am planning on taking the longer shoots for cuttings. Will they work with this same method?
Rusty, they should work fine, I just did several hundred potentilla today.
what medium besides sand would
Pam, you can use something with peat in it, but it should contain a lot of perlite. Peat alone will stay way too wet.
Casey Milnes says
Is it best to take the tips of trees and bushes and start them? Is a sandy loam a good medium to start them in? Or do you do the sand and horse manure? I live on a farm and have access to alot of manure! LOL! The soil I grew my veggies in started out as composted horse manure and after a few seasons has turned into a sandy loamy mix.
If i clean out the big raised beds can I start the cutting outside?
Mike Bispham says
Hi Mike, great clip! Can you tell us a bit bit about light and shade and ventilation, and how warm is too warm? For example, if you close those lids right down now, I reckon it’d get pretty warm in there. Do you leave a gap to keep things cool? Or are there shading trees nearby? Thanks, Mike
Mike, I moved these two propagation boxes into a shaded area. The covers are plastic that has been painted white to reflect the sun. This time of year they’ll be fine with the covers closed and I’ll keep the covers closed to retain plenty of moisture until the cuttings go dormant. Then it’s not so critical, I just need to keep the sand moist. But for now I have to keep the humidity up so the cuttings don’t fail. In my Small Plants, Big Profits from Home system, http://freeplants.com/wanted.htm, I show other methods of plant propagation that are faster and easier.
Does this method work for camellias?
bill williams says
i have a heated green house. can i root cuttings in it? Thanks for all the information you give us
Bill, believe it or not we do everything we can to NOT root cuttings in a greenhouse. It can be done, but it’s so easy to root cuttings without a greenhouse. A greenhouse is great for things like Rhododendron that really like to have their bottoms heated while they are rooting. But that’s the secret. The bottoms of the cuttings should be around 69 degrees F. but the tops should be around 45 degrees F. to keep them from breaking dormancy. When working with dormant cuttings you want them to remain dormant while they are rooting. The ones that I just did will soon be dormant. I could have or should have waited for them to go dormant, but instead I did them now and will treat them like non dormant cuttings until we get a hard freeze.
Jan Wiltzius says
Hi Mike, Can you root in water too? I have a Dapper Willow bush and wonder if this would work too. Thanks, Jan
As always–good informative videos. I might do some wigelia. Is the sand, just like the play sand?
p.s. with the damp weather we have been having, some of my primroses have been blooming!
Hi Mike…great video..love to see you in action 🙂 Hey…now that you’ve put these guys into their cold frame for the winter, come spring they should be rooted?? How to take them out and what do you transplant them into? I am also curious, as one guy wrote, what feeds them? All they need is the moist sand? Where does one look to find out what kinds of plants will take root from a cutting? I live in the southwest and would love to do this with desert type plants, ie: Mesquite, Palo Verde, and various others. I pretty much know how to do catus..lol…they’re easy! How about Mulberry tress and China Berry (Texas Umbrella) ? Think I’ll get around to trying them this coming weekend. How about putting them in the greenhouse, without the cover like on your cold frames? Geesh..inquiring minds need to know these things! lolol…thanks so much…you’re a great help!
Ellen, while the cuttings are rooting they don’t need to be fed. You really want them putting all of their energy into making new roots. Once they are rooted they could use a little nutrion, but usually mine don’t get fed until I pot them up. Will they be rooted by spring? Maybe, maybe not. But if not they’ll root at just about the same time they start to break dormancy. I’ll leave them in the sand until at least late spring. I don’t like summer potting because it is so hot, so sometimes I leave them in the sand until almost fall. I do most of my cuttings in June and July and they root in a matter of weeks. But even those I usually don’t pot until the following spring. Lots of plants will respond to these techniques, just try and them and see how you do.
Jim Fisher says
Good video! Can the cuttings be put directly where you want them to grow? I’m trying to make a honeysuckle hedge on a wire fence for privacy and the hummingbirds love it. Thanks for the great posts.
Doug Hutchens says
Wonderful information. Can I do some old apple trees this way. I’m 60 and we have a few apple trees that were mature trees when I was a youngster and I’d like to try to root some of them.
Doug, I’m not sure it will work this time of year, but you might have success doing them in June when the new growth is soft and pliable.
Margret Hauksdóttir says
Is it OK to take cuttings of a tree or shrub if it has lost all the leaves?
gloria Buchman says
How far north will this process be sucessfull Im from Iowa.
Gloria, I’m in zone 5 northern Ohio. The sand in those cutting boxes will freeze as hard as concrete over the winter and the cuttings will be unharmed. It’s an amazing thing to see. Those little tiny rooted cuttings are as tough as nails.
What are your thoughts on mixing the shredded paper from my paper shredders in with my potting soil? I’m thinking if will help hold moisture and still provide some air pockets. …..happy sticking……Lee W from Delaware
Lee, it will hold moisture but I’m not sure about the air pockets. I’d add some pine fines to get good aeration.
Nadia Garas says
I hope you can help me. We are moving from Michigan to Maryland this summer. Last fLl I took cuttings from my Annabelle plants and after using a hormone I stuck them in like two third and of the way into soil in my yard over the winter. Of course now I’m notiicng it should have been sand. I have pulled them up and I’m surprised to see live looking little buds but no rooting Nd no leaves yet. Are they Ny good? Should I transplant them into individual soil? We are leaving for the eastern shore at the end of the month, would it be too early to transplant them into the ground and hope they growing learned so much, I’m hoping I can save them, but if not is it too late to try to do it again now for later this summer?
Thank you, Nadia
I’m sure they are fine. I’d re-stick them in pots so they will be easy to move, then transplant once well rooted in the summer.
Great stuff, Mike. Always look forward to your emails. Last year I tried your technique of just plugging forsythia cuttings right into the ground and sure enough, they leafed out and almost all of them looked like they were on their way. End of season, they all died and when i pulled them out of the ground, not a single one looked like it has pushed out any roots whatsoever. They must have just wicked up the water but never really grew. Suggestions?
Al, that doesn’t sound right. When I did that video last fall many of the ones that I stuck directly in the soil rooted and grew into beautiful plants. The soil had to be too wet or too dry. That’s my guess. Do some now and do more as softwoods in June, they’ll root.
ChaChee Kent says
Was checking back to see if you replied to my query and don’t see my ‘reply’posted. Just trying to see what the problem is.
ChaChee, I do my best to respond to posted questions, but I’m sure I miss some. I get a lot of questions and there’s only one me. I suggest asking again.
ChaChee Kent says
Mike there must have been a glitch or a lag on my computer. After I posted the message you responded to, I saw my original message and checking later, I saw your response.
Thanks and sorry for the misunderstanding.
What kind of sand do you use? Contractor’s sand or do you get it from some other source?
Nina, it’s just contractors sand. Mason’s sand is really too fine, but it will work if that’s all you can find. What I use is often called conrete sand or sharp sand because it contains small pebbles which help with drainage.
If you take cuttings on dwarf varieties will they stay true and be dwarf?
Joy, in almost all cases plants grown from a cutting will remain true and identical the the parent plant. If you get them to root. Some things like Japanese maples and other ornamental trees are more difficult to root as cuttings.
Hi Mike… thanks for the fantastic information you always provide.
I live in the Dallas area and have a gorgeous Lady Banks rose that I would like to propagate. Would I follow the same basics as what you have done with the forsythia?
Jaci, roses are a little different, see this page https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-roses-from-cuttings/#
Is there any specific type of sand needed for rooting? What is a good source to obtain it?
Is there any apecific type of sand needed for rooting? What is a good source to obtain it?
Patricia, the sand should be coarse sand from a gravel yard. If you can’t find that, you can use bagged sand or swimming pool filter sand.
Can I use the same process in rooting red maple trees? What type of sand do you use? The only type of sand I ever bought is what we used with setting up our pool and I don’t know if there are different types.
Nancy, this process won’t work on Japanese Red Maple trees. You can grow Japanese Red maples from seed in one of these boxes and it should work fine. See this article http://japanesemaplelovers.com/growing-japanese-maples-from-seed/
Do you leave them out where they will freeze??
Tom, yes I do. The sand will freeze as hard as concrete but the cuttings will be fine come spring. Crazy I know, but hardy plants are hardy plants.
Does it make any differance if you use a liquid or powder rooting compond?
Penny Pridgeon says
Do you have instructions for the box?
Penny, the box is pretty simple. 12″ deep, no bottom, the top cover is a wood frame covered with plastic that is painted white. About half full of sand so you have room for the cuttings.
When you make the boxes and fill with sand do you make holes in the plastic for them to breathe over the winter or do you cover the holes with something so the snow doesn’t get in. Love to read your blogs. They are very informative and I love that you talk to us in PLAIN english. Keep up the great work!
PS…am seriously thinking of trying this!
Can you do lilacs this way?
Yes, you can! This is the way I have always propagated my lilacs with almost 100% success rate.
ChaChee Kent says
Is this method viable for anything other than woody plants? What type of sand is used?
ChaChee, this will work for a number of different evergeen shrubs. Tomorrow I’ll do some Juniper and Rhinegold Arborvitae, maybe some Emerald Green or Dark Green Arborvitae as well. Just coarse builders sand is all you need.
I have alot of these plants in my garden that I could use for cuttings , do you just use builders sand ?
Nancy, yep, just builders sand.
mike do I put the box in the full sun or partly shade. thanks for all the information you have given us
Sand has no nutrients, so how does a cutting root and grow with no nutrients?
These are repeats of other questions. I just need the answers. Do you replace and/or poke holes in plastic? How do cuttings root in sand?
Full sun, or patial shade for the box?
Gardening keeps me sane and I love the ride.
Keep up the great work.
Synoma, no holes in the plastic, you want it to stay nice and moist inside the box. Cuttings actually root quite well in sand. It’s the most dependable rooting medium that I’ve found. But it should be as coarse as you can find it so it drains well. Lots of shade for the box so it doesn’t get too hot inside.
Talmadge Hardy says
Did you say the bottom of the sand box was open? If so, how do you keep the sand in? Hardware cloth, screen wire, what?
Love your presentations. Keep it up. And thanks.
Tal, the bottom of the box is open and I have nothing in the bottom. Once the sand is damp it stays put. Keep it simple, no bottom at all.
Helen C Aragon says
What about the rose of Sharon can I do that in October I havre a sugar tip and it doesn’t produce any seed pods but I want more of them?
Helen, rose of sharon will root using this method. I have some I need to do yet this year.
Helen C Aragon says
Mike enjoy your simanars on-line. Maybe you can cover Can you make cuttings of Hydrangeas and Rhodem.
Mary Welch says
What is your rooting medium made of?
Mary, I use Wood’s rooting compound or Dip n Grow.
[email protected] says
Mike, does it matter if the sand growing box is in the shade or sun through the winter? Were you taking only ”tip of the branch” cuttings with the hardwood cuttings or through the whole branch? Thanks much.
Ivy, I positioned my boxes in a shaded area so during the warm months they don’t over heat. This time of year I do take more than one cutting from each branch. When doing softwood cuttings in the summer you typically one take tip cuttings.
iS THIS A GOOD TIME TO TAKE CUTTINGS FOR ROSE OF SHARON OR WAIT UNTIL WINTER? THE PLANTINGS ARE 2YEARS OLD AND ARE THEY READY TO TAKE CUTTINGS?…THX
Vic, waiting for them to go dormant is less stressful on the cutting, but you can do them now if you cover them as I have with these boxes.
Mike, DO I need A HEAT LAMP TO HELP PROPOGATE?
Vic, no, you don’t need a heat lamp. You really want the top of the cutting to go dormant and stay dormant.
I live in Mn. Can I leave these cuttings outside over the winter and do I need to prepare them some way for the extreme cold?
Mary, they should be fine, just treat them like I did in the video. I’m zone 5 northern Ohio and it gets plenty cold here as well.
Please do a video next spring/summer showing the next steps. thanks.
Jim, remind me to do that.
How often , and how do you mist that Box..
You used just course sand?
Buddy, I just water it with a water can and close the lid. When there are no droplets of water on the inside of the plastic I make sure to water again.
Hi Mike, Thanks for sharing. I am having the hardest time trying to propogate my Honeysuckle. What is the best method and medium to do so? Thanks!
Tammy, you can try some cuttings now, or in June do some in here: http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Allen Merritt says
Your poison ivy video was helpful. Next spring when the ivy puts on new leaves spraying it with vinagar with a little dish soap in it will kill its roots. Good, cheap, and no chemicals.
Harry Glans says
Mike, How about azaleas in SC.
Harry, I’d try some now and again in June of next year.
Yes, I am wondering too what chemical hides behind ‘rooting compound’. Or, do you do it naturally and extract the hormone by boling Willow Bark?
Chistopher, I buy over the counter rooting compounds like Wood’s or Dip n Grow. You’d have to read the label. I’ve read it but don’t remember for sure so I won’t guess.
I’d like to propagate my roses in my back yard. I have 4 varietal and want to know how to spread them around the yard. I am not interested in this with roses to sell. I know that’s not allowed.
How do your cuttings in the prop box do over winter? Here in Utah it gets fairly cold.
Scott, many roses you are free to propagate. Patented plants cannot be propagated for any purpose. Here’s a video on roses https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-roses-from-cuttings/#. My cuttings in the propagation box do fine over the winter and it does get really cold here as well. They are tougher than you think.
Tom O says
I have a hibiscus that I would like to make cuttings from, but every time I try, the leaves shrivel and the small plants die. I live in the NE corner of Wisconsin so I bring in the mother plant, and trim it down after it is done blooming. The branches of the cuttings have an area where the bark is still green, and then goes to the regular brown/gray bark. Should I use the rooting solution on the green are or the regular bark? Or does it make a difference? You said in the video that the sand/soil in damp but not soggy. Is sand the best soil for cuttings if I keep them in separate pots?
Any advice you could lend would be much appreciated.
Tom, this time of year do the Hibiscus outside just like I did. You can wait for them to go dormant, then make hardwood cuttings. I need to do another video about hardwood cuttings in the next week or two. You can also do them in the summer using this http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm which is really very similar to what I am doing now.
Donnie Adams says
Mike, I’m interested in Creapr Myrtle trees. Can you do cutiing on those now and use the same process.
Hardwood propagation: Take 8 inch long and 1/2 inch diameter cuttings in November – December. Stick several cuttings in a container filled with a potting soil or well-drained garden soil. About an inch of the cutting should protrude above the soil line. That’s right 7 inches below the dirt. Leave outdoors, but protect from a severe freeze.In the Spring, when new growth appears, place in a sunny location and keep watered until you can plant in the summer.
This is so easy, I have had success the last couple of years.
Donnie, you can try doing Crape Myrtle now and if they don’t work do them next summer. They’ll do fine then.
Donna KayeDonna says
DDo you need to worry about them freezing? Thanks for all you do!
Donna, freezing won’t hurt them. Mine will likely freeze solid this winter.
Just what I needed to know. I bought the rooting stuff for these kinds of plant stems but did not know what to do next. Thank you so much! You are a jewel!
Art English says
LThanks Mike, U r the best.
I plan on trying this hardwood cuttings on my forthisias, but does this also work on boxwood? how about lilacs?
Denise, yes on the boxwoods for sure. You can try the Lilacs but they would respond better if done in June when the wood is soft and pliable.
I don’t think you can kill a forsythia. I’ve tried. LOL. In late winter I cut them and force the blooms inside. They always start rooting. They can take over a place if you’re not careful.
Thanks, we just build what we hope is going to be a great greenhouse for growing plants and veggies this winter here in Tennessee, your instructions will help a bunch with the plants we are wanting to try and replant
On one site a lady was dipping her cuttings in honey.
Charles, people do all kinds of crazy things. I do what professional propagators do. I know that they have already tested everything that can be tested.
Ann Taylor says
Mike, Can you do cuttings of roses like this?
Ann, here’s a video on rose propagation https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-roses-from-cuttings/#
Will you replace the plastic on the probagation box?
Charles, I already did. Once the plants are dormant the plastic isn’t that important. But until they go dormant it helps a lot. Especially if you use this in the summer months. Then it’s critical and should be shaded as well.
Jim Loomis says
Can I root the cuttings from Chinese Mahonia the same way? I am located in Tallahassee, FL.
Jim, not familiar with the plant but more than likely you can. You can also use this in the summer http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
Will cuttings of Japanese Maples root using this method in October?
Jim, probably not. Even though it is possible to get some Japanese maples to root from a cutting is is not easy and it’s not something I won’t even attempt. Some are grown from seed, but most of the really desired varieties are grafted. Here’s info on growing from seed. http://japanesemaplelovers.com/growing-japanese-maples-from-seed/
? What’s in the sand box besides sand? ?fertilizer? antifungals? minerals?
Jeff, I don’t put anything in with the sand. Just sand. Once the cuttings are rooted next spring you can feed them then. Something light, like Miracle grow or Peter’s liquid fertilizer. But when they are rooting you don’t want to encourage any top growth.
How those cuttings will survive -10 or -20F
in the box outdoor?
Or you move the box to a warm location?
Greg, great question! Believe it or not they are tougher than you think and here in Ohio it usually gets down close to zero at some point during the winter. The cuttings should do fine. The sand will freeze as hard as concrete, but plants that are hardy in your zone know what to expect and somehow they deal with it.
George Fountaine says
What is the best sand to use for propagating cuttings?
George, sand varies a lot from region to region and there is no standard term to describe the best sand to use. Brick layers use a very fine sand often called Mason’s sand. That will probably work, but the sand should be more coarse than that. The sand should contain small pebbles. Around here they call it sharp sand, builders sand, or concrete sand. All that really matters is that when water is poured on the sand it runs through the sand quickly and doesn’t stand on top of the sand.
Hi Mike, I have always enjoyed your blog. I am in Ontario, Canada and have a yellow magnolia that had the main trunk die and I have let the suckers grow for two years now. I would like to root the four suckers that have come from the trunk but not sure if what you are saying will work with our cold winters up here?? What would you suggest is the safest way to help these off shoots become trees?? I am very nervous and have avoided doing anything because of it.
Thanks so much.
Carrie, for the Magnolia I would suggest waiting until summer when the new growth is soft and pliable. Usually mid June. More details here http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
When is the best time to trim and propigate roses? I have an old stand Mr. Lincoln climber that i set out for my Grand mother over 30 years ago and i want to get more of the same from it. I guess i’m sentimental, but, i just can’t see losing it to stupidity. Thanks
Olin, here’s a page on propagating roses during the winter months. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2012/02/how-to-grow-roses-from-cuttings/#
Awesome! Thanks for sharing those wonderful insights! I am eager to do it!
This is great, good details thanks!
Patricia Blumhageno says
I wonder if I could do cutting of Lilacs? If so, do I follow your instructions for propagation. with the storms and winter I lost many Lilac bushes that became a tree. But in another area I have many growing that I would love to cut to cut back. Not sure if they are getting enough of sun or are being chocked out by oak shoots. should I cut them back and take the cuttings from them or the tree-I am not sure if it would work. there are many branches that do not have leaves. Please, help!
Lilacs can be grown from cuttings, but I’m guessing you’ll get much better results if you do them in late June using the same system that I am using now.