Attempting to propagate a China Doll

dalar_caJuly 19, 2007

Or as I prefer to call them, Emerald Tree :)

I bought a small 4" pot full of them in October -- turns out there's about 12 of these plants in my pot, and they've recently exploded so I'm trimming some parts back and propagating the cuttings.

The only thing I really could find online was someone who said it was tough, they won't all make it, but the best bet was cut diagonal below a node, strip the leaves off that node, make sure there's at least 4 nodes above.. dip in rooting hormone (I have none.. but I heard honey works so I did that), then into the wet soil and a plastic bag over them for humidity.

Hope it works! If not, there's plenty more cuttings to come, I'm sure.

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taxonomist(7b VA)

First of all I believe that you must determine the botanical name of this plant. Common names are mostly meaningless and perhaps a hundred miles away, your common name is completely unknown!!!
Secondly, I would very strongly recommend taking a look at Ken Druse's publication; Making More Plants. The library call number is 635.9 DRU. It is invaluable for a person like yourself who seems to be just beginning.
Thirdly, if you are able to determine the correct, current name of the China Doll, please let me know what it is.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 6:52PM
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The common name is NOT completely unknown!! If you can't look it up for yourself here it is!! China Doll Radermachera sinica. Common Name: China Doll, Emerald Tree, Serpent Tree Latin Name: Radermachera Sinica Family: Bignoniaceae

Dalar, I am interested to know how it turned out! I have a China Doll that is quite leggy, tall and really full on top and I am thinking of cutting it back. Such a shame because the top is extremely full and healthy! I am interested to know if the top part can be rooted to make a second plant. Did yours take root??

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 5:37AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I totally agree with taxonomist, throwing out a name like "China Doll" is totally insufficient. There are cultivars of more than one plant called 'China Doll' and probably variations of that name. Maybe one could argue that by including both "China Doll" and "Emerald Tree", one could narrow it down using a search engine (if not familiar with both names), but using the correct scientific name would make things MUCH easier!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:55PM
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The best propagation is from seed of course! And for $3.00 per 1000 seeds, you cant go wrong. Try (anderson seed co.) if you really want to propagate them this is the way to go.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 1:10AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi Matt, welcome to Gardenweb! Being your first post, one could be suspicious about it being spam. Hopefully you're just a fan of that company, and this beautiful tree.

It's a shame, a couple of the posts above. If the person had the knowledge to locate the botanical name, they may have found sufficient propagation info on their own, or simply didn't think it was necessary since china doll universally refers to Radermachera sinica. Hostile info, go figure... not necessary to help someone figure out what kind of plant they have so their questions may be addressed.

I clicked on this to read how others' props were going with this, but unfortunately there's none of that here. There does seem to be a general lack of knowledge/success stories "out there" about propagating this plant. I'll be attempting this later in the spring... from what little I can find to read, it sounds like fresh or semi-woody material is best, not hard wood, but that's pretty standard for propagation...

Anyone have a story to tell? Did anything good happen with yours, Dalar? Sirena?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:33AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Unfortunately, many people just assume that a common name refers to only one plant. This naive viewpoint is probably due to lack of experience, but certainly adds to the confusion out there. Take, for instance, the name "China Doll". I can think of at least a dozen different species of plants with that name as one of its common names, as one of the cultivar names, or as part of one of these. Describing it as being universally associated with just one plant is...well just universally wrong. As I pointed out originally, having both "China Doll" and "Emerald Tree", does point strongly to SirenaNe's recommendation. But, someone not familiar with both of these names would have to do a google search or something to figure out what was being discussed. I actually think Taxonomist's attempt to point this out was quite helpful, and MUCH more so than that last post.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Regardless of generalities, the google search linked above is conclusive on this particular plant to me.

I see that Dalar has not seen this discussion worthy of return or followup comment, which is usually the case for any OP who receives such answers. And I know they are from people who could have easily helped confirm the ID of the plant in question. A step I agree is necessary to avoid incorrectness and wasted time but there is no reason to just say "I can't say until YOU figure out the Latin name of your plant" unless you are just trying to massage your own ego. Brandon, you provided a pleasant, informative reply to a question of mine in shrub forum today. You could have easily done the same here, we both know it.
"Is your tree is a Radermachera sinica? The reason we should confirm that is..." C'mon dude, fer real man.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 12:13PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Maybe Tax could have done the Google search and found the plant, but it's also possible he tried and couldn't make a determination! I don't personally know Tax and have no idea how good he is with Google, but lets assume that he had never heard the common name of the plant and didn't realize that the OP's mention of "Emerald Tree" referred to a common common-name (I can sure see, given the wording of the original post, how that part could be overlooked). Now let's imagine he googled "China Doll" (without the word "plant"). Remember, we don't know how crafty he might be with Google (probably most people I talk to on here lack really good googling skills). Who knows how many search results he would have had to have gone through to even find an entry with the proper ID, and, even then, how would he know when he had (remember he may not have even been thinking about the "Emerald Tree" mention).

The important point, IMO, is that this thread remained unanswered for FOUR YEARS because no one came along that could properly ID the plant. Some of this was certainly because the post eventually slipped down before someone that could do the ID saw it (I probably didn't run across it until SirenaNe brought it back up), but a BIG part of why it wasn't answered was because of a lack of proper ID. Apparently, NO ONE that read the post in those four years could ID the plant. Imagine how easy it would have been if the OP had been able to provide the proper ID up front! That's why using the botanical names of plant (whenever possible) is soooooo important.

And, BTW, the reason I didn't go back and answer the OP was that it had been 4 years and there was no response from the OP. I felt it very likely that the OP was no longer looking for the answer and had probably even forgot about asking.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Sorry about the confusion. I am not advertising. I just love anderson seed and i LOVE china dolls. Eric is a very nice guy, him and me talk for hours about seeds and china dolls. The tip cutting will root, but they are very prone to just sit there and rot. And forget completely rooting anything other than a bud tip, it just don't happen fast enough before the plant dies out. Germinating Radermachera seed is not easy either, as they will damp off unless you use a fungicide soil drench. I grow china doll seeds in a jiffy 72 cell pack, i use Captan at time of planting, and i use a bottom heat pad and i cover the seed flat with the plastic cover. At 85 degrees you will get 75% or more germination. This is by far the easiest way to propigate them. A couple of years ago i had 60 4" plants that i grew and gave away and sold for a couple bucks. They had too many plants in each pot tho, so they did not grow fast. I did this outside on my back patio.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Thanks to every one for the information. I love this plant. it is so pretty. First stop is for Captan, after I get the seeds of course. Any sugestions about Shefflera? I bought 2 plants that looked healthy but both died within a week??? Any help would be so greatly appreciated, thanks again, Liz2525

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 12:27PM
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