Starting Cuttings from an Azalea and a Rhododendron

Q: I was wondering if there was a way to start an azalea and a rhododendron? I have heard of people clipping a branch and putting it in water (for other plants) and wasn't sure if that were possible with them as well?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Thank you VERY much!
Katie from PA

A: Katie,

You can start Azaleas and Rhododendrons with cuttings. Start with terminal 2 to 3 inch cuttings. Remove any leaves and flower buds. With a sharp knife, make a 1-inch slit on each side of the cutting near the base-just deep enough to cut through the bark. This will provide a space for the new roots to emerge. Dip the ends of cuttings in a rooting hormone and insert them 1-inch deep into a small container filled with moist, potting medium made from 50% peat and 50% perlite/vermiculite. Cover each container with a clear, plastic bag (to create a greenhouse effect) and set them in a bright location out of direct sunlight. Fertilizing or further watering shouldn't be necessary until they are transplanted. Root cuttings can be taken anytime, but they are usually most successful when taken in the fall and supplemented with artificial daylight. Take cuttings in the morning when their moisture content is highest. Be patient and expect them to take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to establish a good enough root system for repotting. Plan on starting several in the event that some don't take. Once repotted, fertilizer them once a month.



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April 22, 20060 found this helpful

It's a lengthy process but it can be done!

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April 24, 20060 found this helpful

You can take a med. limb from bush. Get root hormone from your garden center, put on limb put in ground. in fall or spring. I find if you will cover with glass jar until it gets warm it will do better. Or sit an old milk jug over it to keep it warm. When it starts to get hot in the spring take it off. You can do lots of bushes like that.

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April 28, 20060 found this helpful

Katie, I've had very good luck with just sticking rhododendron cuttings in the ground. They grow and make a new plant! Yikes. I found it out by accident. Then, someone told me that you can do this with just about any shrub... I've tried azaleas, but they die on me... In all fairness, I should say they came from Virginia so might not be hardy here in PA... I dont even water the cuttings.. just stick them in the ground. I am anxious to try this with forsythia.. (wink) People will tell you that you need rooting hormone, but in the olden days people didnt have that.

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