Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
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Propagate Woody Plants This Summer

Rooted elderberry cutting

Rooted elderberry cutting

June 14, 2018

As shrubs put on new growth early this summer, that new growth can be used to propagate new plants from "softwood cuttings" – cuttings taken from stems that are still flexible and not yet woody.

Among the plants that root fairly easily are elderberry, forsythia, most viburnums and willows. To propagate these, cut 2- to 4-inch sections of new growth from nonflowering stems just below a leaf node. Remove the lower leaves and stick the cutting into a container with drainage holes that holds about 2 inches of vermiculite. Cover the container loosely with a plastic bag to keep in moisture but allow for some ventilation. Keep the vermiculite moist. Place the container out of direct light. Check the cuttings every few days. Remove any that have rotted; pot up any that have sent out roots. Come to Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA on June 23 to try taking cuttings – and to try many other hands-on activities, all free.

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