Plant propagation workshop July 1

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 19, 2015

By Carole Massey

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

On Wednesday, July 1, Rowan County Extension Master Gardeners will have a Plant Propagation Workshop, 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 25 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 Thursday, July 30. Register for this class also, same time, same place, same $20 fee applies.

This summer has started off with challenging issues for gardeners. Lack of rainfall (we are down at this writing more than 3 inches) and relentless heat. Our ornamentals are suffering for it, try as we may to keep everything well mulched and irrigated.

The county well at the Agricultural Center, the water supply for our greenhouse, shade house, raised bed gardens and poultry trial, has had an issue this past month. We are hoping the replacement of the leaking faucet will resolve the problem, but as propagation trays are dependent on continual misting for optimum rooting, we are at the mercy of the well for success with these classes.

Therefore, we are stating up front, if at any time we have a repeat of the well issue, which results in failure of the propagation starts, we will refund fees and send you home with plants from our Master Gardener propagated collection.

As in the past, Extension Master Gardener Jean Lamb and other Master Gardener volunteers will provide instruction and information on basic propagation techniques.

Propagation of popular ornamental shrubs is best achieved from late June until late 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.

Plants should be well irrigated prior to cuttings being taken. Plants under stress will not do well. Also, cuttings from old wood or aged or declining shrubs will be difficult to propagate.

Shrubs should be insect- and disease-free. 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.

Participants are encouraged to bring enough plant material to share with others. Recommended plants for propagation include most ornamental shrubs including all varieties of hydrangea and azalea, mock orange, crepe myrtle, spirea, weigela, gardenia (upright and trailing varieties), holly, roses, chaste tree (vitex), Kerria and beauty berry.

Don’t forget the vining plants such as clematis, Carolina jessamine and coral honeysuckle. Master Gardeners will bring cuttings from their home gardens as well as furnishing cuttings from the Pocket Gardens around the Ag Center.

When filled, the propagation trays will be nurtured in the greenhouse until fall. At that time, a potting up session will be scheduled, with instructors to assist, and the new plants will be ready to be taken home.

Participants are encouraged to come by and check on their cuttings during the summer to see their growth and development. For questions or additional information, contact the Cooperative Extension office, 704-216-8970 or

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