Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Raising your own shrubs

A good way to stock a new garden with shrubs is to propagate your own. Not only does it save money, but growing a healthy plant from a cutting can bring a great sense of satisfaction. If you want to plant a large area using one type of plant, it is well worth propagating your own from one bought plant.

Not all shrubs are suitable for raising from cuttings. In general, the more expensive shrubs are more difficult to propagate, and are best bought from the garden center or nursery as plants. These include Acer palmatum var. dissectwn, azaleas, Cotinus coggygria, daphne, Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata', Fremontodendron californicum, Garry a elliptica, hollies, lilacs, Mahonia x media 'Charity', rhododendrons, Viburnum carlesii and natives such as bottlebrushes and eucalypts.

Ground-cover shrubs can be easily propagated from cuttings, as well as certain types of hedging, such as lonicera and box. In mid to late summer, many types of shrubs can be taken as semi-ripe (that is, firm but not woody) cuttings and inserted into trays filled with a mix¬ture of equal quantities of compost and perlite, or vermiculite. Place the cuttings under a simple propagator made from garden wire bent into hoops and covered with polythene. Alternatively, insert the cuttings into the soil in a sheltered part of the garden and cover with the propagator frame. The young plants can be lifted the following spring and potted before you plant them out in the garden.

7 comments:

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