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We Have Roots

December 4th, 2010

I talked about propagating your own plants back this spring and did a little how-to with some photos. Early this summer I got some boxwood cutting from a friend. He has a beautiful old shrub, very mature and in great condition. It does very well in our climate, which can be harsh on certain boxwood varieties. I figured my best chance of getting beautiful boxwood would be to grow my shrubs from cuttings.

I put about 40 cuttings into 3 long trough planters filled with a mixture of sand, perlite and peat moss. I put them back behind the garage where they’d get morning sun and would be protected from the elements. I decided a few weeks ago it was time to check them and sure enough about 15-20 had roots. This was very good because I actually took cuttings a month before you’re supposed to on boxwood and I wasn’t sure they’d root. They’re all tucked away in the cold frame ready for spring planting.

Have you ever propagated shrubs or other plants?

18 Comments to “We Have Roots”
  1. Beegirl on December 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

    All the boxwood around our house are from the clippings when my mother trimmed the boxwood hedges from her front door. I would dip the clippings in root starter and plant the stems… It takes about 5 years to get a small bush from just a clipping. Nice root start on yours! Have fun! I have a little “Boxwood bed” out by the back door that I start clippings, then move the shrubs as the get bigger. The 15 large ones I have out on the front walk all came from just one little clip! I love boxwood.. reminds me of Virginia ~ There is boxwood all over the place there!

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  2. Denise on December 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Boxwood is very popular here too. Several neighbors have boxwood fences even.

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  3. alecia on December 4, 2010 at 10:16 am

    We have quite a bit of boxwood here- zone 7- like how it is easy to control and it’s loose habit. Congrats to your rooting project being a success-nice growth you have there. Have had luck rooting roses, honeysuckle, althea, liliacs and forsythia- but not with gardenias- i do keep trying-never thought to try boxwood but will.

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  4. tj on December 4, 2010 at 10:29 am

    …Aww, a baby boxwood! Great job and congrat’s! :o)

    …I’ve done that before and it’s such a good feeling when it works. I love boxwood and we have it all around our place. I also love azaleas and rhododendrons and hollys. I am kind of a freak about bushes that hold their leaves all year long…I love the look of green in the dead of winter and especially for foundation plantings you don’t have your house looking bare in the winter months either. Don’t even get me started on white pines, blue spruce, cedars and the like! lol…

    …Have a nice weekend you two!

    …Blessings… :o)

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  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jeffreyross, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: We Have Roots #newplants #boxwood #propagation […]

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  6. Janet Anderson on December 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Hello! Lucky you being able to have boxwood, I am in zone 2a/3 and boxwood runs and hides at the mere mention of being planted here. :-) I have done a number of mixed tropical pots up using cuttings. I like to combine goldfish & lipstick plants with pothos and ivy…they all root easily in water and fill in quickly.

    Congrats on not only saving money but also on finding and propagating a species so well adapted to your area! I am saddened when such varieties get lost because they are pushed out by the proprietary varieties pushed by the big companies.


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  7. amy on December 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Love the boxwoods…..I propagate roses….:)

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  8. MAYBELLINE on December 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I would like to root some lilacs. Any ideas?
    This winter I want to learn more about grafting. There is a problem nectarine that needs help or replacement.

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    • Susy on December 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Here’s a link. I’d guess they’d start just like hydrangeas, take a cutting of green wood about 6-8 inches long, remove all leaves but top 2, dip into rooting hormone, put in a mix of sand/peatmoss or pearlite/peatmoss. Make sure a leaf note (where you cut off leaves is down below soil line and it was dipped in rooting hormone). Place it pot in sheltered place that will get some morning sun and wait. Keep watered of course, and never pull to see if you have roots, be patient and dig up plant at 3-4 months to see.

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  9. Amy @ Homestead Revival on December 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, I love boxwood!! I have lots in both front and back of the house! But it never occurred to me to propagate it. I’ve done mint and some other easy to do things, but never a shrub. Perhaps I’ll try.

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  10. Sarah on December 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I only tried it in a class on plant biology – and ever since I’ve wanted to try learn more about propagation. Grafting especially seems like the coolest thing!

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  11. Annie on December 4, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Because lavender plants are so expensive here I take cuttings from my current plants and root them. I use water that I have soaked willow cuttings in as willow contains very strong rooting hormones. Seems to work pretty well.

    Reply to Annie's comment

    • Susy on December 4, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks for the tip on the willow stems, I don’t currently have any willow in the garden, I’d like to get some though. My mom’s neighbor has some I might get a start from.

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  12. Sincerely, Emily on December 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I am so glad your boxwood is rooting well. That is great. I think taking cuttings is right up there with seed saving for me. Some of my impatient friends always say “why don’t you just buy one, it’s only $5, $10, $20?” WHY? Because I don’t have to! I can do this myself and it is free, but better yet, I feel good doing it. The ones I find I do a lot are mint, basil, sage. Right now I have a cutting from a Castor Bean plant. Crossing my fingers because the plants I had didn’t grow enough to go to seed, so I thought I would try to propagate it. Time will tell. Sincerely, Emily

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  13. Vegetable Garden Cook on December 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Looks great! I’ve done a few root cuttings before. Probably would be a great way to make some extra cash.

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    • Susy on December 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, for sure, there are a lot of people at our farmer’s market that do this.

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  14. Corner Garden Sue on December 5, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Congratulations on your roots! I don’t have room for many bushes. I want to get more raspberries going next year, so may try to root some of those stems if they don’t spread on their own.

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  15. melissa on December 6, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I didn’t know boxwood would root like that–I’ll have to try it. I’ve done propagation by cuttings for impatiens, basil, ivy, mint, aloe vera, and wandering jew. Impatiens is probably my favorite to propagate–I’ve done it for several years now with different varieties, just put a small cutting in some water and it’s rooted in usually 10 days or less. One year I rooted a bunch of impatiens and aloe vera cuttings and gave them as gifts in little pots. :) (I will never pay for aloe vera plants again – I’ll just get a little segment from someone for free and grow a plant from that!)

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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