Increasing Stock Plants

Several of the basic landscape plants can be reproduced by encouragement. Pinning lower limbs of azaleas and rhododendron to the ground can root the limbs. Dig a shallow trench beneath each limb. Scratch the underside of the bark where it touches the trench. Pin the limbs in the trench with oversized hairpins, such as those made from metal coat hangers. Other easy to lower plants include forsythia, crabapple, flowering cherry and Oriental magnolia.

Some horticulturists prefer to make a slight cut through a portion of the stems to be covered. This cut is treated with Roottime rooting hormone to speed the rooting process. A toothpick, small pebble or stick (for spacing) is placed between the two cut surfaces. The wounded branch is covered with a few inches of soil, with a brick or rock placed on top to keep the stems in place. Water is applied to the area, with mulch, compost or peat spread over the spot to conserve moisture. One growing season is sufficient for roots to form. The rooted stems are cut from the parent stock and planted where desired in the landscape scene.

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