Cuttings from Rhododendrons
Posted: Nov-13-2004 at 12:04am
Has anyone here started rhododendrons?? I googled but haven't found much information. I really would like to learn how to do this. I've started lots of things- but rhodies have never rooted for me.
Posted: Nov-13-2004 at 7:00am
Never having tried to root cuttings either, I found this Propagation.The timing of taking the cuttings seems to be the secret.
Good luck and always carry sharp pruners and baggies!
Posted: Nov-13-2004 at 10:22am
Sydnie and all--rhodos are not the absolute easiest to root, but certainly possible with a bit of care.
Folks like Van Veen (big grower in Oregon) seem to stick their cuttings mostly in the summer, done in big open benches of peat and sand, or peat and perlite. Using intermittent mist and shade cloth over the greenhouse, they root these probably until spring at which time they go in with knives and cut the beds into squares and lift out the rooted cutting with it's cube of roots to pot or sell. They would probably soak the cutting first in liquid hormone, before sticking it for rooting, tho we would usually have just the powdered stuff.
My experience was that summer cuttings were very slow to root, and did much better once Oct/Nov came and the heat cables under the nursery flat (in my case) started warming the soil mix, while the tops were quite cool. This seems to help coax roots out of cuttings, having more warmth on the bottom cp. top.
So if I didn't have a mist setup, or even now when I do, I would still tend to stick rhodo cuttings in about October, with some bottom heat and a tent of plastic to keep the leaf area humid...no need to fool around with mist this time of year, since the bottom heat will drive a lot of humidity up into the air to be contained by the plastic tent. And in Oct. (or even now might work) I would use the stronger % rooting hormone (#3 or 0.8% stuff), as well as shaving a 1in. strip of bark off the base of the cutting to help the hormone soak in (called wounding).
Evergreen azaleas root real easy, but the larger leaved rhodos vary a lot in their ease of rooting...you'll find some varieties take half a year, others start rooting almost right away. Sure is nice tho, seeing rows of nice 1 gal. sized rhodos that were "free" after a year or two! Not exactly a get rich quick deal, but I find it lots of fun...
Posted: Nov-13-2004 at 3:15pm
Glen, Did you cut the leaves of the bigger leaf varieties, or leave them intact?
Posted: Nov-13-2004 at 5:20pm
Thanks Tommy!! I will try that too!!! I knew a woman that used that method years and years, oh my, and years ago, but I didn't know exactly how she did it. I have one at the edge of the woods. The branches hang on the ground. It'd be perfect to try that method on.
Glen wow !!! - thanks !!! More information than I'd hoped for!! I'm going to give it a try now and then next year if I don't do well. What the heck, I'll try again. I have 8 rhodies and I can't really justify needing and buying more ! But I sure would like more.
A lot of my cuttings I've done, I cut off the tops & remove buds, depending on time of year, what it is, etc. Do you do this with the rhodies?? I'm talking about the big leaf varieties, also.
Posted: Nov-14-2004 at 12:02am
Regarding cutting leaves, I've always avoided that and just reduced the number of leaves, sometimes just two with the larger leaved ones. I realize some very large leaved varieties out there, similar to many magnolias, just can't survive with a full sized leaf and do have to be snipped back, but I've never done such very large leaved things, yet...I'm quite paranoid about starting fungus going on those cut surfaces.
Taking off any flower buds, esp. this time of year, is always a good idea...no point using the cutting's energy to start making flowers.
Posted: Nov-14-2004 at 8:38am
Note that Tom's link above also mentions "layering". That is the lazy man's way. I can't respond to timing but it would seem that just like transplanting now, taking advantage of Nature's irrigation fits the lazy man even better.
Posted: Nov-15-2004 at 11:59am
Thanks Glen for your answer. I cut leaves often on large leaf cultivars and have no problem with fungus or at least there's been no awareness of it. I have not, however, successfully propagated rhodos by cuttings. When I tried it years ago I didn't wait long enough for them to root.
Posted: Nov-15-2004 at 4:48pm
I tried that years ago and was surprised that it worked for me. I was able to give the new plant to a friend of mine. I have thought about trying it with an Azaila too but haven't yet.
And Sydnie, when I planted the Deutzia you gave me, I put a couple of the branches into the ground and forgot about them until you brought this subject up. When it stops raining I'll try and remember to check on them.
Posted: Nov-15-2004 at 8:20pm
Gary thanks for mentioning the technique used on the website Tommy posted earlier. 'Layering'. I thought that was what it was called- but wasn't sure. Lazy is ok, too- esp if it works!
And Glen thanks for the answer to my questions. It's much appreciated!
Phlox- Glad you have your deutzia planted. I haven't started them in the ground- those were all pots. As long as they get enough water just as in pots the grounds fine for them I would think. Hopefully I get starts from the pink-a-boo deutzia this year. It's to drool for- just wish it bloomed longer. LOL>> Actually I wish everything bloomed longer.