Workshops set for plant propagation June 25, July 31

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2013

On Tuesday, June 25, Rowan County Extension Master Gardens will conduct a plant propagation workshop. The technique is a little different, and we offer the luxury of a greenhouse with an overhead irrigation system. Hopefully, the end results will be the same. The workshop is 9 a.m. until noon at the Agricultural Center on Old Concord Road.
The class will be held under the Outdoor Learning Center next to the greenhouse. Space will be limited to the first 20 to call and register. Phone the Cooperative Extension office at 704-216-8970. There is a fee of $20 for materials and supplies.
A second workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 31. Register for this class also, same time, same place, same $20 fee applies. This is the 13th year for this popular workshop.
Propagating plants is somewhat addictive. New varieties become available, old favorites become even more desirable. Some like to propagate a quantity of the same variety, to plant a border, a shade or a sun area in mass. These classes always prove to be entertaining as well as educational.
Extension Master Gardener Jean Lamb and volunteers will provide instruction and information on basic propagation techniques. Propagation of popular flowering shrubs such as hydrangea, deutzia, daphne odora, azalea, buddleia, spirea and camellia is best achieved during late June, mid-July when cuttings from new tip growth are green and vigorous and snap when bent. If the tip bends and does not snap, the growth is too juvenile. Also, cuttings from old wood or aged or declining shrubs will be difficult to propagate.
With the late, cool, wet spring, many plants have been delayed in their growth. If at all possible, cuttings should be taken the morning of the workshop. Transport soft-stem cuttings in a cooler with ice or in a container of water. Cuttings need not be excessively long.
Participants are encouraged to bring enough plant material to share with others. Volunteers will also have cuttings from their collections.
Other recommended plants for propagation include weigela, gardenia (upright and trailing varieties), laurel, holly, Carolina Jessamine, crepe myrtle, roses, chaste tree, kerria, clematis, beauty berry and coral honeysuckle. Some clematis are candidates for cuttings. Plants should be insect and disease free. In addition to the cuttings, participants need to bring a pair of pruners or clippers, and/or a sharp knife. They should be clean and sanitized to prevent the spread of any undesirable disease or fungus. A handout will be provided with additional information.
The propagation trays, once filled, will be cared for in the Master Gardener greenhouse until fall. At that time, the cuttings will be ready to be potted up and taken home. Participants are encouraged to come by and check on their cuttings during the summer to see their growth and development. Further instruction will be given when the trays are ready to go home.
For questions or additional information, contact the Cooperative Extension office, 704-216-8981 or 216-8990 or email