How to - Techniques

How to propagate conifers

Turn late-summer cuttings into sturdy new plants in just 12 months


Caring for your cuttings
Label and date the container. Water cuttings with a fine, gentle spray and place them in a bright window out of direct sunlight. Mist cuttings daily during the autumn and early winter, then water as needed every seven to
10 days when the soil surface dries out.

The cuttings will root within three to four months. By early spring, each will be ready for transplanting into individual 10- to 15-centimetre pots. Afterwards, water with a half-strength solution of transplant fertilizer (10-52-10) and move the pots to a south- or west-facing window.

Within six to eight weeks (late spring), the transplants can be acclimatized to outdoor conditions. To harden them off, place outside for several hours during the day, gradually increasing their time spent outdoors. After three to four weeks, the new plants will be ready for planting in the garden.

Planting your new trees in the garden
Prepare the hole by adding compost and composted manure to the soil. Once planted, cover the surface with four to five centimetres of mulch, such as shredded bark, to help conserve water and discourage weeds. Keep plants well watered for the rest of the growing season.

 

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