How to propagate dogwood by cuttings
Do you like dogwoods and do you like free plants? You’re in the right place. I will explain all the process to propagate them, step by step and with lots of photos.
Don’t worry if you think you don’t have great skills for propagation, dogwood shrubs are very easy to propagate.
In this article
Shrub plants of the genus Cornus are very popular with gardeners and landscapers. They are admired for their intensely colored and ornamental stems during winter.
There are colors for every taste, ranging from lime green and yellow, orange, red and purple to almost black. In addition to the stems, some also produce flowers and fruits, and some varieties are also appreciated for their variegated foliage.
They are extremely hardy shrubs, tolerate cold and exposed places. Dogwood shrubs grow well in most soils and require little maintenance, just cut the stems just above the ground every couple of years in late winter.
This procedure promotes the growth of new young and vigorous stems that will also have a more vibrant color in the coming winter.
One of the easiest plant propagation techniques is from woody cuttings.
Hardwood cuttings are made during the dormant period from a fully mature stem of a deciduous tree or shrub.
As the cutting is leafless, the need to control conditions for successful propagation is minimal.
When to make dogwood hardwood cuttings?
Dogwood hardwood cuttings can be made at any time during the dormancy period.
However, they will be most successful if they are taken at the time of “leaf fall”, usually when the first frosts occur.
How big should be a dogwood cutting?
While traditionally hardwood cuttings are made around 30cm long, a shorter length is much more successful.
These cuttings, although without leaves, will still lose some water through evaporation.
To prevent water loss and cuttings from drying out, expose as little material as possible above the ground.
The cutting will initially develop roots both along the stem and in the cut area at its base.
Gradually, the roots along the stem disappear and the root system of the new plant develops completely from the basal roots.
How to propagate dogwood by cuttings step by step?
The procedure is very easy.
Prepare the soil mix
First, prepare the compost for the cuttings. I use a generic potting soil mix and coarse sand to improve drainage and prevent the cuttings from rotting.
In fact, cuttings can be rooted simply in coarse sand without any soil.
Prepare the cuttings
Then, cut healthy branches that look vigorous.
And you can divide the longest branches in several cuttings.
The bottom cut should always be below a node, as this is where the roots will form.
We remove the buds that will be buried, to expose the tissues of the stem.
We only leave a couple of buds on top of the cutting. It will be these buds that will sprout and grow.
Plant the cuttings
We fill a pot with compost and bury the cuttings. We could have buried the cuttings more, but these pots aren’t very deep and dogwood cuttings aren’t as sensitive to drought and tend to grow well.
Finally, I water the cuttings and place them outside in a relatively sheltered place. But outdoors! They need to “feel” autumn and winter.
Rain, cold and frosts will take over the cuttings and they will sprout in spring.
When they grow in spring, keep them shaded at first and resist the immediate temptation to fertilize them.
On the next page I will show the result…