Can I get a start off my moms flowering almond bush, or do I have to go buy my own? If so, how do I do it?
Cher from Utah
I really don't know too much about Flowering Almond bushes. Here are three different methods you might try.
The first is hardwood cuttings. These are generally taken in the early autumn as the plant starts to prepare for its dormant state. However, many gardeners (myself included) ignore this rule of thumb and take them in the summer.
Start by removing a 12 to 16 inch section from a mature shoot that is relatively low on the plant. Try to leave the "heel" intact-the part of the shoot that widens and connects with the main stem. The shoot should be the approximate diameter of a pencil or smaller. Lightly scrape about 1 inch of the bark from the cut end all the way around the "heel" end, and remove all of the leaves from the lower part of the shoot. Dip the "heel" (cut end) into some rooting hormone. (You can find this in either liquid or powder form at any nursery or garden center).
Plant the cutting in a pot or prepared bed, inserting it only as far into the soil as it needs to support itself. Keep it well watered and protect it from sudden temperature changes. In 6-8 weeks, give it a slight tug. If it has developed roots, you should feel a small bit of resistance.
Softwood cuttings are another option. These are taken in the summer from young shoots that are typically higher up on the plant. Soft wood is the new growth you see on plants each spring, or the new growth you see after you trim them back in the summer.
Select a shoot that is 5-6 inches long. Again, these shoots are the new growth, and generally located higher up on the plant. Trim off the lower leaves, leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves at the top. If the leaves are large, they can be snipped in half with a scissors. This will still provide the shoot with enough surface area to carry on photosynthesis, but it will save you room and make handling the softwood cutting easier. Dip the cut ends of the shoots into a rooting hormone, and plant the cuttings into a pot or container. Softwood cuttings should be kept in a moist, damp environment, so cover the pot with plastic to keep in humidity and check often for wilting. You can insert chop sticks or pencils into the soil to prevent the plastic from touching the cutting.
If your mother's almond bush produces suckers (shoots growing independently near the main plant), it may be easiest just to dig these up and plant them. Use a shovel to dig out the sucker from the main plant, preserving as much of the root as possible. Plant it as you would a potted bush from the nursery.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
By Lou Ann Mittelstadt 05/01/2008
Cher , Yes u can take a cutting off of your moms almond bush. I just did so myself here 2wks ago and put in water and its got roots. I live in Ohio. Actually its my bush which was a cutting from my mom and dads back in the early90's. It blooms beautiful every year and its been uprooted 3x because of moving . So goodluck. Lou Ann
By Peg Ward  06/17/2008
I got mine from a friend as a start and he just dug up some roots beside the bush and I planted that. It's been there about 18 years now, hubby accidently cut a huge piece out of it with hedge trimmers a couple of years ago and it doesn't look as nice as it used to but it's still going. Very striking flowers in the spring :)!
By Maxine. (Guest Post) 06/18/2008
Try "layering." Simply take one of the lower branches, pull it down to the ground, and weight it down with a rock. Check on it in the fall to see if it has put down roots. If it has, snip it off of the mother plant and dig it up and re-plant. I honestly don't know if this will work on a flowering almond, but it works very well for a lot of other flowering shrubs, including my snowball (viburnum). I've done it several times.
One of the advantages is that it seems to bloom much earlier than suckers--often the next year. I have done this in July and dug it up in October. I also did it in October and dug it up in April, and you wouldn't believe the root system it put down. In fact, it put root systems down at two places on the branch, and I was able to snip off two new shrubs. One of them bloomed this year!! Since I am not sure if this works on a flowering almond, you might want to try this along with another method...just to be sure.