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Propagating Lithora Diffusa


By Leebugs

Kerry, Ireland Ie

Hi there. Could anyone advise me as to when and how to take cuttings and how to treat the cuttings to allow maximum success from someone with blue fingers. Thanks



You need semi ripe cuttings for this one, that means this year's growth, from shoots that have soft tips, but lower down the stem should be firm. Remove non flowering sideshoots that are like that, 6-8inches long, which have leaves on them. Take off leaves from the lower part and sever it just below a leaf joint. Cut off the soft tip above a leaf to have a cutting 2-4 inches long. Use a 3 inch pot for up to five cuttings - almost fill with cutting compost, dip the base of the cuttings in rooting hormone powder (garden centre), make small holes (with a small paint brush or pen or something) and insert each cutting to a third of its length - don't let the cuttings be touching one another in the pot. Water well, preferably with a fungicidal solution (or you can lightly dust with green sulphur dust). This all works better if you then put plastic over the whole thing, but you will need to put some kind of frame in the pot to support the plastic so that its not touching the cuttings. Now they need a warmish, very sheltered place (cold frame is best) or in a propagator with bottom heat. (I used to use a cardboard box cut at an angle from back to front, to leave a depth of about 3 inches of cardboard at the front, put the pots and cuttings inside that, and then wrap the whole thing in a clear plastic bag and leave in a warm, but not sunny, spot, outside. Now is exactly the right time to do them - if you're not turned off by all the complicated instructions already!
Keep them in a cold frame over winter (or the box I've described if you've not got one) and plant any surviving ones out next spring.

10 Aug, 2009

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