What is easy/hard in YHO to grow from cuttings?

RetiredFlorida(9)November 19, 2012

For those who are really new to propagation from cuttings this would be a helpful thread.

So far in my limited experience;


Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus


Shrimp Plant


Turks Cap


Tropical Hibiscus

Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow

Oh, perhaps if you see that someone has a hard time propagating something and you have a solution to their problem you could point them in the right direction.

Having limited success at the moment with tropical hibiscus cuttings, usually tips propagate better for me, in 2 parts peat moss to 1 part perlite. Thoroughly water and then keep in plastic tub containers in my garage here in FL. I open them every other day when condensation builds up. Water infrequently, when soil seems dry.


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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

How long is a piece of string, Darren?

There are so many hundreds of plants which can be quite easily propagated from cuttings it is impossible to list them in a single post here. Also, we all live in different climates so what is easy for one may be hard for another. If someone asks about a specific plant people can tell them whether it is easy or not. Was there anything in particular you wanted to know about?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:59AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

I think it was more of just a "let's generate some discussion" post. Obviously climates, rooting media, etc...would play a roll in success or failure.

I personally root in a 4'X 8' outdoor sandbox with an intermittent mist system in the Spring/Summer. If I took extra care or made specific conditions for some of the things I've struggled to root then I'd likely have more success with those. But if they can't be rooted easily in the community propgation box then I don't fret too much over them.

I've personally found the easiest of all cuttings with 100% success for my conditions to be:
'Pink Princess' Weigelia
Hydrangeas of pretty much any kind
Butterfly Bushes
'Radrazz' and 'Rainbow' Knock Out Roses
Pretty much any climbing roses
Hardy and Tropical Hibiscus
'Navajo Red' and 'Hot Lips' Salvias
False Indigo

Things I've struggled with that usually fail:
Azaleas and Rhododendron
Viburnum/Snowball Bushes
Clematis (this one's supposed to be easy lol)

Probably 50-70% successful:
'Boulevard' False Cypress
'Cripsii' False Cypress
Flowering Quince


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Flora, I guess I could have narrowed it down a bit. I am mostly interested in plants for a butterfly garden but I don't limit myself to only those "attractors or host" plants. I love all flowering plants, really.

As a newbie, it can take hours to browse all the threads to learn about what propagates easily. I do browse the threads and learn a good deal but a shortcut to the learning process would be most helpful. I was on a website for ginger yesterday and was amazed that they listed various ginger for beginner, collector and advanced.

So many of you all know from years of experience what works well and easy. If I kill something that was easy, I need to know why. Case in point, Danielle's experience with tropical hibiscus. She obviously is doing something different than I and now I can contact her about her methods. Others reading may have the occasion to do the same about other plants.

This thread can also be a source in the future when I become interested in other things to propagate.

So Danielle, you have a community propagation box? That is awesome. I am fortunate enough to have enough land to allow me create whatever I need to help in my process, so perhaps I need to work on a greenhouse and/or misting set up. Being in Florida, we don't have too many freezing days, usually just a handful. It is probably warm enough to propagate year round and I can use my garage.

Its ok Danielle, I bought two Hydrangeas earlier this year and promptly killed both. Put them in shade, directly beneath corner of roof where the rain comes down heavily. I like your attitude about harder things to propagate. While at my favorite nurseries the owner was telling me that she has a hard time with sweet almond bush. I thought, this would be a good challenge to learn how to propagate. Hours of searching I found others don't find it so hard. Currently trying "air" layering via split branch.
Thanks for the replies.

Keep the list going.......


Ginger, roots can be separated very easy
Canna, same, cutting rhizomes, important to do
Iris, again


    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 4:51PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Hi Darren,

I wasn't sure if it was obvious or not, but by "community" propgation box I meant all different cuttings go in the same box. Not like a "community garden" that many people share. You probably understood, but after re-reading my post I thought I should clarify.

Below is a link to an older thread that I just discovered was still here. If you scroll down it's got some pics I posted of my setup. I REALLY need to get some updated photos but I just transplanted out all of the rooted cuttings for the winter last month and covered it until Spring so the photos right now would be boring. Interestingly, the way I found my old thread a few days ago was while I was looking for some new ideas. I typed in "propagation Bed" into the Google Images search box. My sand box pulled up as #17 in the results lol! It's weird seeing something of yours in a google search when you're not expecting it. I was like "hmmm, that one looks kinda neat.............hey!!"

According to that thread I must have had some success with clematis at the time but this last year I didn't have much luck lol.

I've actually flipped the plumbing around so the hose comes in from the right side and moved the photo-sensor timer to a newly built irrigation house that has a window on the side just for it. I also upgraded to treated lumber since the older untreated stuff was starting to come apart after 5 or so years, but the bed basically looks the same as it did in those pics.

This summer you could hardly see any sand in it, I had it so full of cuttings. I literally could have grown almost a thousand Weigelia cuttings alone in 3 weeks if I hadn't wanted to root other things too. My yard Weigelias are large so when I prune them I have alot of potential cuttings there.

With the intermittent mist system there really is no care involved, the timer does all the work. Just make sure the timer is cycling frequently enough to moisten the leaves and let them dry off a little bit before the next misting. I think the average interval this year was about 45 mins between mistings, but I adjust it depending on outdoor temperature, whether it's just rained, etc...I tried to root tomatoes in the box for the first time this year and found they did not seem to like the conditions that the other plant cuttings thrived in. With the tomatoes, the frequent mistings just seemed to encourage disease and even though a few rooted they looked terrible. I may try something different with those next year.

As to the Hibiscus, I've personally not found them difficult whether hardy or tropical. I'm not sure what the trick is if there is one. I'm in Central Alabama 7a/7b and my box is basically in the sun except it gets some mid-day shade from a tall tree. The cuttings are misted frequently and the rooting media is nothing but coarse construction-grade sand from a builder's supply. Like you I also prefer tip cuttings, 6-8 inches long if I can get it, with preferably at least 2 nodes below the surface. I usually remove all the leaves except the top two, sometimes top 4. If the leaves are excessivly large or floppy I sometimes snip those in half to reduce the surface area. I dip my cuttings in a little Rootone, which I have absolutely no idea if this actually makes a difference lol. It's what I was told to do when I started and since it's cheap I still do it. I've read there are much more effective root stimulators and rooting hormones.


Here is a link that might be useful: Propgation Bed with Intermittent Mist

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:59PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It's a difficult time of year to propagate most things, short days, cold nights.

Here are notes about most of what I've been propagating lately.

Looks like I have just a few more days to finish getting the Coleus all cut down into jars, to save for next spring.

This area is all propagations, except for Caladiums which I bought.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Thanks Danielle you made my day. Awesome thread, clipped. I think after I get some chores done next week I'm gonna work on a misting box.

I look forward to being able to share beautiful plants with friends and family too. I am excited at the prospect of being able to clone some of the tropical hibiscus I get or can get cuttings of.

I see we both use the fork method for identifying plants, too funny. Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus in photo.

Community box, lol, no I wasn't smart enough to know that! I thought it was a shared one I'd seen on tv.

What would you consider as minimum propagation temps being that you just packed up your system for the winter? We are in the 50-60's at night and mid 70's during the day right now.

Purpleinopp, that is too cool. I'm getting close to having my first cutting to put in a pot of its own. Sadly my gardenia cuttings didn't make it but I will try again.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I still want to hear from you on what you find easy and hard to propagate, even if you don't have a misting system.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:05PM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)


glad you found the thread helpful. I'll try to remember to post a new updated thread when it's up and running again next year. I basically learned about intermittent mist from a guy who had his own website, newsletter and instructional videos named Mike McGroarty (I think that's how it's spelled). Alot of folks on here are probably familiar with him, I'm not sure if he or the website are still around. I never actually communicated with him or bought any of his advanced services, I just took the free info that was offered right on the website which was actually quite significant at the time, and built my own version of it.

I like the coloration on your Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus, I'll have to try and find that one around here.

I'm looking forward to my first plant sale in the Spring, although I have been saying that for several years now and have never done it. I'm always busy with other things and never seem to time things right where I can start sprucing things up so the overwintered plants are trimmed up and looking nice. I won't sell a scraggly looking plant.

I was using the forks but just switched over to the plastic knives and inverted it so I'm putting the handle in the pot and writing on the blade. I find it much easier and they are less prone to breaking like the tines of a fork. The knives seem to be a little harder to find around here in bulk but my sister has a Sam's Club membership and sometimes picks up big boxes for me.

I'm not sure what to tell you about minimum propagation temps. The ones you're currently experiencing still seem nice and my bed would probably still be active if I were in your zone. However once our night time temps started dropping into the 30s and 40's I decided to pack it up. There are actually alot of things that will continue to root over the winter in warmer climates like ours. I've often left things, especially evergreens like False Cypress in the bed overwinter with no misting or anything hooked up and no care whatsoever. In the Spring I find some well-rooted plants needing to be transferred to soil. However the propagation bed is always a mess by Spring thanks to the leaves and acorns and stuff that the squirrels like to bury in it. Lots of unwanted things trying to sprout or take root in it. So this year I just decided to cover it up with plastic so hopefully I won't really have to clean it up next year. I still have one small corner I left uncovered with a few evergreens that hadn't rooted yet, about a square foot worth.

I'll be happy to try and answer any questions you may have when you build your propagation box or misting system. You're welcome to contact me privately.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 11:07PM
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