propogating a shrub in a potato?

cyberianblonde(z6 PA)July 31, 2005

Yesterday I was watching Paul James the gardener guy.

He said that shrubs are hard to propogate. His advice was to make a small hole in a potato, insert the cutting and plant the whole thing in a pot with potting mix.

Has anyone ever tried this and has it worked?

I'm going to try it with a hydrangea cutting.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanx for your help.


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Why not just do the job the proper way? It is not as hard as you suggest. All these gimmicks are just entertainment value created by people making mega-bucks.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:15AM
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cyberianblonde(z6 PA)

Call me kookie but I like to tinker and putter in the garden. It's a garden experiment that's all...grin
I had the potato laying around doing nothing so I thought I'd put on my crazy hat and give it a shot.
I was just wondering if anyone else had tried it....and yes you're right...gardening is very entertaining isn't it?
But with my wild imagination I just can't help but envisioning Mr. Potato Head with a wild mane of blue hydrangea hair....hmmmmm

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 5:17AM
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Paul James must be lurking around these Forums. I introduced this subject here about three years ago culled from an unpublished radio broadcast my Dad did back in the early 1940's in which he was detailing some horticultural history. The old time technique was to insert a cutting in a potato (yes, you can use rooting hormone), bury it in a shady spot and keep the potato foliage cut back but still growing. I have done this successfully with easy to root shrubs such as privet. Suspect hydrangea might root well, too. For me the most fun of gardening is the tinkering; the trial and error. The potato rooting experiment is easy to do and some of you might find it interesting.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 8:07AM
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todancewithwolves(Z9 CA)

cyberianblonde - I saw the same program and tried it myself. I've
tried his other tips before and had great sucess. I enjoy his show.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 8:43PM
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cyberianblonde(z6 PA)

Awwww gee thanx guys....I was feeling like I had grown a third eye or something....LOL (not like the first time or anything)
Thank you for the encouraging I recall he said that this technique went back to the 1800's
So you guys have tried this too with success?? What did you grow? I did btw put rooting hormone on it too.
If it works GREAT!! If biggie
Isn't this the fun part of gardening?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:09PM
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sorry to drag up an old thread...i'm going to experiment w/ some boxwood cuttings: one in a potato; one using rooting-hormone; and one in water (yep, i've stuck stuff in water and had them sprout rootlings--things i thought would rot first).

i suspect plants like the carbohydrates in the spuds.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 5:02PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I'm wondering, is the 'gimmick' here is just keeping the moisture near constant? An interesting variation on the experiment would be to take a potato and a wet paper towel of about the same weight, hence about the same amount of moisture, insert a cutting in each, put them in a large Ziploc not quite sealed to allow for circulation, set both in the dark and watch them for a few weeks.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 1:33PM
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calpat(zone9ab No.Ca.)

Has anyone had results yet? What did you try to propogate?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 7:49PM
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so far the boxwood in water is holding its own: tiny buds forming along the bottom where i scratched at the bark after removing leaves. the leaves up top are rather puny; i ought cut them ('cept it looks pretty in my kitchen window).

the one with the rooting hormone isn't doing much. just...sticking out of the pot!

the one set in the potato (no hormone; leaves left as is) looked wonderful until a few days ago. the leaves started wilting a bit--not much. i've begun watering w/ a vitamin B solution, and it's a bit happier.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 6:02PM
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