Thuja easily and simply propagates by cuttings
Popular coniferous crops in nature are more often propagated by seeds or vegetatively. But in nurseries and among gardeners, thuja propagation by cuttings in spring is more common, allowing:
- save time and effort for germinating seed and bringing it to the state of a strong viable seedling;
- preserve all the varietal characteristics of the parent plant, which would have been necessarily lost with the seed method.
If a summer resident is engaged in self-cultivation of seedlings for the first time, it is important for him to know how thuja reproduces.
Preparation of thuja cuttings for reproduction in spring
Harvesting cuttings from conifers, their adaptation and planting have significant differences from the well-known technology for working with deciduous species..
The optimal time for harvesting planting material is the end of March and all of April. Shrubs that have awakened from winter dormancy begin to grow, so pieces of shoots cut from them receive a natural stimulus for growth and root formation..
In spring, for reproduction of thuja, cuttings from strong, well-developed shrubs are cut off tops at least 10–12 cm long. The diameter of the future seedling should not be less than 5–8 mm. One-year-old shoots of lateral branches taken as cuttings form roots much faster and more willingly than those that are cut from the top.
How to proceed further? How to propagate thuja by cuttings at home? In this case, it is enough to immerse the planting material of many deciduous crops in a container with water. After a while, the cutting will develop roots, with which it will go into the ground for further growth. In conifers, the process of root formation is somewhat difficult, so the cuttings need a little help:
- Fresh cuttings at the base are cut obliquely.
- Close to the cut, gently pry up and remove the bark.
- Above the shoot, several thin longitudinal cuts are made..
- The needles are removed, leaving only at the ends of the shoots.
These operations need to be performed fairly quickly so that the cuttings do not fade..
Thanks to the incisions made, it will be easier for the future roots to overcome the bark, and removing the needles will help to avoid decay after planting..
In this form, pieces of shoots are placed in a solution of a root formation stimulator. In a jar of water, cuttings for propagation of thuja should stay from 12 to 24 hours. During this time, the seaming of the roots awakens, which increases the likelihood and accelerates the rooting.
Rooting and planting thuja cuttings for propagation
While the planting material is waiting for its turn, containers and soil are prepared for planting. Containers should have drainage holes to drain excess moisture. It is convenient to take washed and disinfected sand mixed with peat as a substrate for thuja propagation by cuttings. You can neutralize harmful microflora and insect larvae using:
- abundant watering with a solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin;
- boiling water abundantly spilled on the soil layer;
- baking in the oven.
Cuttings are planted at a distance of at least three centimeters from each other. For multi-row planting, leave 8-10 cm between rows. The same distance should be to the edge of the container or pot.
Closeness is dangerous for seedlings, the roots of which risk intertwining and breaking off during transplantation into open ground.
Shallow, up to 15 mm holes are made at an inclination of 45 degrees. When all the cuttings of the thuja for its reproduction in the spring have found their place, the soil around them is slightly compacted, and then the plantings are watered.
Thuja seedlings care for vegetative propagation
Until strong roots form on the thuja cuttings, they need protection from the weather:
- direct sunlight;
- probable frosts in spring.
The best hiding place for the first two months is a small greenhouse or greenhouse. During this time, the seedlings are provided with daily watering, which is extremely necessary in dry, sunny, warm weather..
On especially hot days, it is useful to spray rooted cuttings for thuja propagation with warm water, using the smallest sprinkling. The film on the greenhouse is changed to a thin fabric or non-woven material.
Over the summer, properly planted and well-cared plants develop their own roots. Therefore, young thuja can be safely transferred to a place where shrubs will fully form in 2-3 years, or to separate pots for growing in a container.
The roots of ornamental conifers are rather fragile. You need to work with them carefully, trying not to damage. It is more convenient if, during transplantation, the seedling retains a small earthen clod, which will protect the rhizomes and accelerate acclimatization..
A video about thuja propagation by cuttings at home will help beginners understand the intricacies of the process and avoid mistakes that will delay the appearance of new evergreen shrubs on the site for a year. After transplanting into the ground, thuja receive the same care as their adult counterparts. But you need to monitor the cleanliness of the soil under the plants especially carefully, otherwise the weeds can “strangle” small shrubs.