Learning to independently propagate a juniper by cuttings
Juniper is a popular coniferous culture for decorating a garden or park. Reproduction of juniper by cuttings in spring allows you to get strong young plants most quickly and easily..
Features of the structure and reproduction of juniper
Evergreen coniferous junipers are recognized long-livers of the plant kingdom. The average life span of a shrub reaches 500 years, and some specimens have already been celebrated with a thousand birthdays. For such a longevity, the genus paid off with a slow growth rate, a late entry into the time of flowering and fruiting. The first cones on junipers appear closer to 10 years of age. In the future, it takes two years for the cones to ripen, and the seeds themselves need long-term stratification and germinate hard..
Due to the peculiarities of the structure and reproduction of juniper in nature, these plants are difficult to renew, and in nurseries and in ordinary summer cottages, vegetative methods are used to obtain new specimens..
However, it must be remembered that juniper shoots have an interesting feature. Even after rooting, becoming independent plants, they retain the “habits” obtained on the parent bush. Juniper shoots, located in the upper, central part of the crown, tend to develop, grow upward. Peripheral branches eventually turn into bushes with a spread, squat crown.
At home, propagation of a juniper by cuttings has many advantages. Plants obtained in this way:
- retain all varietal properties of the parent specimen;
- 2–3 years earlier than seedlings, they reach the size of an adult shrub;
- better adapted to local conditions than large nursery seedlings;
- in comparison with seedlings show better growth rates.
When and how to prepare planting material? What is needed for rooting a juniper, and what are the features of caring for seedlings?
How to propagate juniper cuttings in spring
You can cut a bush from early spring, that is, from the time of cutting the plant, and until autumn. However, experienced gardeners prefer to harvest cuttings in the spring, when there is a feast of growth. From April to May, semi-lignified shoots are cut from the already formed part of the crown with a sharp knife so that a thickened branch base remains on the cutting.
The lower part of the cuttings is cleaned by 3-4 cm of lateral shoots and needles, and then the exposed tip is treated with a rooting stimulator. Immersion of the cuttings intended for propagation of juniper in a jar of water, to which a little sugar has been added, gives good results. In a day, future seedlings can be transferred to a previously prepared soil mixture..
Ephedra roots will develop faster and best in an aerated, loose substrate of equal parts sand and peat. Perlite and crushed charcoal can be added to the mixture. The shrub is not afraid of the increased acidity of the soil, so there is no need to deoxidize it.
Before propagating a juniper in spring by cuttings, a small greenhouse or film greenhouse should be organized on the site or at home. Well-lit places are suitable for the plant, where cuttings will not be afraid of delusion due to stagnant moisture and cold wind. With due diligence, the shrub forms roots even in a pot covered with a bag.
Cuttings are planted in separate pots or in a common container at a distance of 5–8 cm from each other, at an angle to the ground. The planting material is buried 3-4 cm, that is, no more than the length of the part of the shoot cleared of needles. After planting, the soil near the cuttings is compacted and watered abundantly.
The juniper loves light, but direct sunlight inhibits the development of the seedling. Therefore, shading should be provided for the greenhouse..
Care for cuttings during spring propagation of juniper
Further care for the cuttings during the reproduction of juniper in the spring consists in regular spraying with warm settled water and ventilation as moisture evaporates from the soil surface. Excessive soil moisture is dangerous! The fragile root system of a juniper can rot, and the plant will die. Ventilation will help balance air humidity and prevent condensation.
A detailed video on how to propagate a juniper by cuttings will help you not to make mistakes and get strong planting material for your summer cottage yourself.
Rooting of most varieties of this coniferous crop takes at least 50–90 days. However, you should not rush to plant shrubs for permanent residence..
Usually, seedlings are left at home or in a greenhouse until next spring, or transferred to open ground with a lump of earth to protect the not too branched and strong roots from damage. Such plants must be covered for the winter and protected from the penetration of rodents..
The time for planting juniper is chosen so that young shrubs have time to adapt before the arrival of cold weather. If in the spring the cuttings for reproduction of the juniper were harvested in the early stages, strong seedlings will be able to overwinter. Otherwise, the plants are grown at home until next April..
This method of propagation of ephedra is suitable for all species and varieties. But if you have to grow young specimens of juniper with a spread or creeping crown, you can try to root low-lying shoots without cutting them off from the mother bush. Semi-lignified branches are bent to the ground, pinned with a strong wire hook and sprinkled with soil. This is done, as in the propagation of a juniper by cuttings, in the spring. In the second half of summer, its own root system is formed on the layer. Such a shrub, after separation from an adult plant, can be immediately planted in the ground..