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Tue, March 02

Backyard Gardener: How to grow new plants from stem cuttings

My large seedling Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is 8 feet tall and has a great growth form and requires no supplemental irrigation. I decided to try air layering to propagate it. Using last year’s growth, I removed leaves and, on some stems cut and removed a 1/4” band of cambium (upper left) and others cut the stem and place a toothpick in the notch (lower left). All were dusted with rooting hormone (IBA), wrapped in damp sphagnum moss and wrapped with a cut-up plastic bag and sealed with plastic cable ties (upper right). It was then wrapped in foil and tied with nursery tape to prevent heat transfer (lower right). (Jeff Schalau/Courtesy)

My large seedling Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) is 8 feet tall and has a great growth form and requires no supplemental irrigation. I decided to try air layering to propagate it. Using last year’s growth, I removed leaves and, on some stems cut and removed a 1/4” band of cambium (upper left) and others cut the stem and place a toothpick in the notch (lower left). All were dusted with rooting hormone (IBA), wrapped in damp sphagnum moss and wrapped with a cut-up plastic bag and sealed with plastic cable ties (upper right). It was then wrapped in foil and tied with nursery tape to prevent heat transfer (lower right). (Jeff Schalau/Courtesy)

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