I know that the conventional way to propagate astilbe is by division. But I want to propagate a particular variety, and I don't have much to start with. Is it possible to propagate by cuttings?
Astilbe from cuttings?
You know I would like to know the answer to that. Since we are getting a new home next month and I will most likely be able to sneak in a few new plants, I think I will try it and let you know how it goes. Sound good? I love a mystery especially on different things that go against the grain of the normal way we do things.
I didn't find a single web site that recommends propagation by cuttings, so I'm dubious that it'd work. I'm really interested to know, though!
I will let you know how it goes. I am not shure how quickly I can run the experiment though.
Don't hurry on my behalf! Thanks for offering to try it! I'll try to divide mine into very small divisions to create lots of plants this fall, assuming the experiment fails. But I'm hoping you have great success.
Thanks Dave, I'd like to know too! I'm not very practiced at cuttings yet, though, so if I did it myself I wouldn't know if it *really* didn't work, or if it was just something I did wrong. Do post your results, I'll be watching for them.
I'm trying to propagate a bunch of cuttings -- I'm setting them out tonight. I'll try to remember to tuck in a piece of the astilbe for fun.
When is the best time to divide astilbe? Spring or fall, or doesn't it matter?
I don't know whether it matters, but I'd keep them very moist after dividing them....
I would think early spring would be best at least here in the heat belt. It would give the divisions time to aclimate before any stress of the summer and if they don't get set properly or done too late in the fall you might loose them all. In MHO...
what all are you doing??? I have had my best luck with spirea, azalea's, boxwood crepe myrtles. But I am always looking for more to try.
Pughbear: I can't remember the list now (some euonymous, spring-blooming clematis, camelia, azalea, hydrangea, bottleneck), but I made a classic beginners mistake: I propagated more than I expected, then wasn't gentle enough the first season.
Not a problem its how we all learn. I always say just give it a try why not what the worst that can happen? How are the azalea's doing? Typically july and auguat are best for the rhododendron family (azalea's too). I only have 2 varieties to cut from so I have been over run by dorthy gish white. LOL
My best luck has been using a gallon milk bottle, as if I were winter sowing. Actually, that (and stone layering) have been my only successful methods for rooting azaleas.
This message was edited Aug 15, 2009 9:56 AM
How have you been propagating your azaleas, Dave? I have 2 that the previous owner planted in full sun, so I've only seen a little bit of a bloom on one of them, once, and want to move them, but am afraid to lose them.
I hope you don't mind my answering. Stone layering is definitely the way to go (though azaleas will transplant fine unless they are huge -- just remember that they like tons of water). Take a stone (or brick). Any stone. Find a low growing branch that will reach to the ground. Put the stone on it to hold it down. The longer the branch you leave on the other side of the stone, the bigger your new plant will be. Go away. Come back in a year. It will have rooted. (To assure success, do several.) Doesn't matter what time of year you do this.
If you want to get fancy, you can scrape a bit of the bark off of the stem where it touches the ground, but I have never bothered.
My other technique is to saw through a gallon milk jug horizontally (empty of course) to divide the top from the bottom, leaving it connected at the handle so that the handle serves as a hinge. Poke some holes in the bottom and the top (I use a skewer heated on the stove -- you could just stab with a knife). Put some excellent free-draining soil in there -- maybe 4 inches. You probably could use just pine bark fines, or perlite, mixed with sand. Peat moss is great but environmentally incorrect. Stick your azalea branches (maybe 6" long) in there (cut off any lower leaves). July is the best time to cut it, but if you hurry, maybe you can do it today. Make sure the soil is very damp. Stick it outside in the shade and wait a long time - if you do it now, wait until next year.
Excellent advice, Devon, thanks so much for writing it out!
I'm thinking that I might just try to transplant them (with your note that they transplant well) as none of the branches are really long enough to get to the ground. But if they make it and thrive, I'll try the milk jug idea, maybe on top of couple of bricks. Thank you again!
I've transplanted a lot of azaleas, and never had a problem.
If you transplant, just water a TON. You might want to wait a month or so when it isn't so hot.
Also, do not plant deeply - they like their roots near the surface.
Let us know how they do!
Of course, it may take a year.....
LOL! True - but I'll still be here, and I bet you will too!
I just saw this thread. Should I wait till spring to try and root my azalea(with the milk jug method) or can I do it now?
The azalea that I'd like to try to root is getting buried under a rhody and I won't be able to dig it out to transplant it.
No harm done in trying it, but I'd think you'd have better success in June/July. Are there any low-growing branches? You could just put a stone on one (or more) to anchor it to the ground, and that should root nicely, albeit slowly -- that would be fine to do now.
Don't you need to dip your cutting in Rootone before you put it inside the milk jug?
I'm really torn on the whole Rootone thing. I know lots of people swear by it, but I have had a lot of success without it and know that a major percentage of it is composed of talc.... not to say that it doesn't carry the hormones it says it does, but ......
Did anyone ever get Astilbe to propagate from cuttings?? I am also wondering about brunnera.