Propagating a Viburnum Shrub

If you want an evergreen that is moderately fast-growing, then perhaps the Viburnum ‘Robustum’ also known as Roundleaf Laurustinus might be just the shrub for you. It grows to heights of 6 to 12 feet, with a spread of 3 to 6 feet. Viburnum ‘Robustum’ is hardy to grow in USDA zones 7 through 12. This shrub grows well in full sun to partial shade. In the spring, the Viburnum blooms with white flowers that perfume the air. The flowers attract bees, and hummingbirds to visit.

All right, you don’t have to go to the local nursery to get this shrub or even order it online. If you have a Viburnum growing in your yard, or you know of a friend with this shrub growing, you can propagate it on your own. This will save you a lot of money.

Take Many Cuttings

When you take your cuttings, you will need to take six or more, because not all of them will root. The best time to take cuttings is in late spring or early summer. Instead of propagating the cuttings in soil, try placing the stems in a glass of water.

Look for stems with new or soft wood. If you can’t tell whether the stems are soft wood, try bending them. They should be flexible, bending without snapping or breaking. Cut a 4 to 5 inch stem at a 45 degree angle, right below the leaf node.

Remove all the leaves from the stem, but leave the top 2 to 4 leaves attached. Wrap the stems in a wet paper towel so they will not dry out on your way home. It is stressful enough for the plants when cutting them from the tree and you do not want to cause them more.

Propagate the Cuttings

When you get home, fill a small glass with water, leaving the water level a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch below the rim. Ordinary tap water will work, but if your water has a lot of chlorine added, leave it set out overnight so some of the additives can evaporate. Choose a glass that is about the same height as the lowest leaf on your cutting.

Wet the leafless section of the stems in water. Give the cutting a shake to remove the excess water. Next, dip the wet end into rooting hormone. Tap the stem against your finger or box top to remove the excess rooting hormone. Otherwise, it will just go to waste.

Insert the stems with rooting hormone into the glass of water. Make sure you have none of the leaves in the water. Place the glass of cuttings in a sunny window for best results. When the water starts to smell bad, or if it becomes green, change it out with fresh water. It can take a month or longer before the roots form.

After the cuttings have rooted, carefully transplant the cuttings into 4 inch pots. Continue to grow them in a sunny location and keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

“Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening”; J. I. Rodale; 1999

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *