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I'm experimenting with vegetative reproduction, i.e. getting stems from a thin branch and replanting them after the branch develops some roots.

I got a couple of stems from a nice Juniper tree beside my home, and I was wondering if anyone has tried this and any ideas (like putting the roots inside a dark container) that could help with this.

I know that there are some species that are way easier than others, but it occurred to me that you might force this by using some hormones or something similar to fool the tree cells in the water to develop roots sooner, but I understand that those hormones would change significantly from genus to genus.

  • Are you putting the cutting into water? Or sand? Or soil? Cuttings rooted in water may not function when finally transplanted into soil. – Graham Chiu Jan 28 '17 at 20:25
  • I put the cutting in water for now, yes, but now that you mention it, I also have a mixture of pumice and lava rock that I can mix with some potting soil to have a very loose base for growing roots. Any advice on any of those? – Ender Jan 29 '17 at 7:08
  • Juniper is supposed to root easily in soil. – Graham Chiu Jan 29 '17 at 7:21
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At school for propagation of cuttings we were told "Cool tops, misty middles and hot bottoms." The "hot" part is there for dramatic effect; warmth is the point. The critical thing is to get the roots forming ("strike") fairly rapidly by encouraging constant warmth in the rooting zone. Warmth brings risks of fungus attacks, so all cuts must be clean and foliage intact. Many propagators have a special propagating bench which they keep warmer than regular growing benches with a temperature controlled electric wire embedded in sand. You can find many examples and suggestions with a Google search string "propagating bench". Rooting hormone powder is available, but will not be as effective as the heat.

For a list of plants that respond to propagation by stem cuttings, see this publication by North Carolina State University.

  • you have gotten this to work with a Juniper? – Grady Player Jan 31 '17 at 21:28
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    I updated my answer with an authoritative list of plants. No need to take my word for it. – Colin Beckingham Jan 31 '17 at 22:10
  • Thanks! You opened a new world for me! I discovered the heating mats and much more. :-) – Ender Mar 9 '17 at 15:59

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