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Want to try a new plant? Sign up for propagation workshop

On Wednesday, July 16, and Tuesday, July 29, Rowan County Extension Master Gardeners will conduct Plant Propagation Workshops, 9 a.m. until noon at the Agricultural Center on Old Concord Road.
The classes will be held under the Outdoor Learning Center next to the greenhouse. Space will be limited to the first 15 to call and register. Phone the Cooperative Extension office at 704-216-8970. There is a fee of $15 for materials and supplies.
This is the 12th year for this popular workshop. With many of us losing perennial shrubs in last winter’s harsh cold, this will be an excellent time to start fresh with new varieties from someone else’s plant which did survive. With the way participants and Extension Master Gardeners bring quantities of cuttings, there will be enough for everyone to share.
Master Gardener Jean Lamb and other Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will provide instruction and information on basic propagation techniques. Propagation of popular shrubs such as hydrangea, deutzia, Daphne Odora, azalea, buddleia, spirea and camellia is best achieved during late June and 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. Our workshops have been scheduled a bit later this year due to the lateness of the growing season. Cuttings should be taken the morning of the workshop if at all possible. Transport soft-stem cuttings in a cooler with ice or in a container of water. Cuttings need not be excessively long. You will only use around 3 inches of the cutting for our purposes.
Other recommended plants for propagation include Weigela, gardenia (upright and trailing varieties), laurel, holly, Carolina Jessamine, crepe myrtle, roses, chase tree, Kerria, clematis, beauty berry and coral honeysuckle.
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 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, 704-216-8970 or E-mail darrell_blackwelder@ncus.edu

Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director and agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County

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