Boxwood cuttings from dormant plants, a concern

simcan(z5b/Toronto)March 9, 2011

Hello, all. I have had success with boxwood cuttings (who hasn't?!) but with Autumn cuttings that I have rooted and overwintered inside. I want to try now with dormant cuttings and see that some have had success, so that I can get them into the ground in late summer rather than having to lose a season.

My concern is that I want to do this with variegated boxwoods which are somewhat less vigorous and this is not the right time to prune in my zone (that would be late-April or so).

Have those of you who have done dormant cuttings (whether pruning or for propagation) had any problems with the parent plant?

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I have a lot of boxwood but it is all evergreen and does not have a dormant season. I am normally propagating with cuttings in the summer when there is more growth. Al

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:39AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I would just go ahead and try some. I have a variegated box bush which I grew from a cutting that came from a Valentine's bouquet. i.e. a February cutting. In my climate that would have involved sticking a twig in a pot of compost and leaving it out in the garden. You might need to put it indoors under a plastic bag or bottle cloche.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:08PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Oops. Forgot to say that I always do heel cuttings for box.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:09PM
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simcan(z5b/Toronto) be clear, I am confident about the cuttings rooting, my concern relates to the parent plant not suffering unduly from me taking cuttings this early in the season.

I suppose I am really looking for reassurance from people who have pruned or taken cuttings from boxwoods a month or two earlier than recommended.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:27PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I see. Can't help you on that point then. I don't now how cold it is where you are. I have already trimmed my box once this year. We can do it any time of the year really.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 3:01PM
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I would think that would have to depend on how healthy the parent plant is before hand. If it's a mature healthy specimen I don't think I would worry too much. Just give it an ounce or two of your favorite timed release fertilizer if if makes you feel better. Boxwoods are pretty good with taking cutings off of.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:39AM
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Hello, all, just thought I would update for the benefit of future searchers. I took the cuttings, they have virtually all rooted and are now potted up and doing well. So I have 25 new variegated boxwoods for planting out in the early Fall.

But on the other point, the parent plants are also doing famously. They recovered without a problem and in fact I am plannng on doing a fresh round of cuttings in the late Fall to root over the winter.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Glad you were successful!

I just wanted to add, about the parent plant, that boxwood can't be killed by "mutilation." There is/was one of these at my Mom's house that was impeding our access to the faucet for the hose, so I chopped it off at the soil level. It continued to send up shoots, so we turned a pot upside-down over it, and put the saucer on top to cover the drain hole. Every time I checked, there was still new growth under the pot, so I kept "killing it." Finally, after 2 years, we think it may finally be dead...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:58AM
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