Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to get new plants from Lilac Cuttings

New Growth From Lilac Cuttings
This is a new shoot coming off of a 2 inch cutting. It took approximately 2 weeks to see new growth and the beginning of roots. With about 30 cuttings, I am seeing a 75% success rate at this point. Cuttings were all made with a sharp "box knife" at a 45-degree angle and the cut ends tipped into a "rooting compound" called SCHULTZ Take Root. A rooting hormone. I then made an appropriately sized hole in the rooting soil and pushed the cutting (hormone side down) into the soil. Make sure the top of the cutting is upright. Leave a leaf on it so you know which side is UP!

Soil Mixture
I mixed equal portions of Potting Soil (The Cheapest I could find ), Kiddies Play Sand (once referred to as "Sharp Sand", (fine), Peralite, and Top Soil purchased from the local True Value store. I then added a little water. Just enough that the soil was well moistened but still slightly crumbly in the hand after making a ball in your fist.

You will want to keep the soil just about this moist throughout the process.
The photo below gives you an idea how your soil should look.


1. Best water from the bottom when possible.

2. Keep a cover over container-save moisture.

3. Mist cuttings at least once a day. More is better.

4. Allow a little fresh air every day for an hour or so every day.

5. If you tug on the new plants and they resist, they probably have a good root system started.


When they have good roots, repot into small pots for further growth. This is when I add a half/strength of Miracle Grow. It may not be politically correct but it works fast and doesn't stink. Fish Emulsion anyone? I try to stay as Organic as possible - but I'm not a purist.


I also use a plastic shoebox from the Dollar Store. They come with a nice lid, are stackable, and cost around a dollar here. I then use an 8th inch bit in my electric drill and punch several holes in the lid and several more in the bottom. The lid for some air circulation, and the bottom to allow watering if needed. In the time it took for my cuttings to produce new growth, I didn't have to water once. I did mist every day. Sunlight? My cuttings were outside on a table in constant shade. Now that I have new growth, I will gradually introduce them to more and more sunlight over a 2 or 3 week period. Be careful. New cuttings sunburn easily and also will quickly die from to much sun - to soon.

A shoebox full of new growth cuttings off my wifes Lilac bush.

Ever wander what a clone looked like?

Note: The date on these pictures is the default for my digital camera. Everytime I replace the batteries, I need to reset the date. I forgot. I hope you don't mind. And I hope you have gained from my first article.

Bye, and thanks for stopping by!

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