Softwood Cuttings – Mock Orange Propagation

After some initial success at herbaceous propagation (rooting cuttings from herbs), I decided to give it a try on a Mock Orange Bush (Philadelphus coronarius) I got from my sister a few years ago. She has since moved and I thought it would be great to give her back a cutting from the bush she gave me.

Falscher Jasmin (Philadelphus coronarius)

I did a little reading about Mock Orange plants and found this tidbit:

Mock orange will root if softwood cuttings are taken at this time of year. The cuttings should be treated with a rooting powder or liquid and stuck in a sand/peat media. The cuttings should be in partial shade and kept moist.

read more: http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extnews/hortiscope/shrub/mckornge.htm

I started on June 3rd, when the bush was flowering and had soft, green shoots with new leaves. I snipped a few of the shoots just above a leaf node, but made sure to include at least one other leaf node on the cutting. I dipped the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone and popped it into a prepared hole in my organic potting mix.

I watered them well and left them. That first day, I didn’t even think of covering the cuttings with plastic to keep them moist and prevent them from dying from over-transpiration. By the end of the day they were totally flopsy and looked about ready to keel over. 🙂

So I did a little more reading and found:

A greenhouse is not necessary for successful propagation by stem cuttings; however, maintaining high humidity around the cutting is critical….. Maintain high humidity by covering the pot with a bottomless milk jug or by placing the pot into a clear plastic bag.

read more: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-8702.html

So, I watered them some more, said a little prayer and covered them with some translucent grocery bags. I also moved them to the North side of the house so that they would be protected from the sun.

Softwood Cuttings with Grocery Bags

So, it’s now over 2 weeks later. I’m not sure how long they will take to root. I found some info online that said 2-3 weeks. But it didn’t specify if that was for herbaceous or softwood cuttings. My guess is that it will take at least 3 weeks or maybe more.

Softwood Cuttings

Mock Orange Cuttings after 2 weeks.

They’re not quite as perky as when I first took the cuttings, but they’re not dead yet! So, there’s hope. I’ll keep you posted on how they do.


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