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RobinM
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How to Propagate Crepe Myrtle from Cuttings?

Hello everyone. So sorry, Im new here and stumbling around trying to find my way. I have a question about crepe myrtle (or is it CRAPE myrtle) propagation but I don't really see a forum for that. I have only found seed propagation. Is this the right forum to ask my question?

Thanks!

Posting my question here, just in case this is the correct place. If it is not, then oops :D

Last year I took about 10 cuttings from one of my crepe myrtles and was only able to get 2 of them to root (they are in the ground now so I'm not sure if they made it through the winter or not). I wanted to improve on last years try, so was hoping someone here could possibly show me some pics of your setup if you have one, or help me with tips so I can do better than last year.
Here is what I did last time:
1-10 Cuttings (cut at a node) off of new growth, about 6 inches each.
2-Took off all leaves except for the top 2.
3-dipped the cut end in rooting hormone
4-put in pot with sand/potting soil mix
5-watered
6-covered with a quart size freezer bag for green house effect.
7-placed in south facing window
8-waited....and waited....and waited.... and only 2 rooted.

Any help here? I would really appreciate it. I'd like to get a handle on it before the new growth starts in a few months. My crepe myrtles usually start leafing out in mid May.

Since my last try, i've purchased a 5'H x 4'W x 2'D mini greenhouse and also have a 4'L grow light now so if these items will be helpful to use, i can do that.
He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to grow up through the clod, he trusts in God

valley
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

Greetins, Sounds like you've done a good job. I've done it about the same way. I did find that putting them in a sunny window caused mine to lose too much moisture so that I had one out of ten to root and do well. I had better luck doing all that you've done but placing the cuttings in water, in low light, even better in the greenhouse under a bench with less direct sun. After the cuttings rooted I placed them in soil.

If I can find pictures I'll post them.

Richard

tomc
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

Here is what I do to propagate bald cypress and hearty azalea. I cut twigs about six inches long from the ends of branches. I rub off all leaves buds save the ones on the very end of each branch.

I dust each twig with rooting hormone and place them in a doubled terrarium made of the rings of two peanut butter jars and their lids cut back onto rings (and glued back together). Each jar has had at leaast one hole drilled in to aide watering and drainage.

I fill the bottom jar with 1/2 sand and 1/2 peat moss. I poke a hole into soil with a chop stick and tamp twigs into place.

I close up the jars and place them in the shade under my bench I do all this before leaf opening late in April here in SE-OH.

I water jars every day it does not rain. About the end of August they twigs have roots and I tease all out of their jar and into individual cells.

I only start fertilizing after I transplant late in August. With a weak soluble fertilizer.
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applestar
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

Tomc -- I can't picture the set up. Can you post a photo or an illustration?

I agree that covered propagation chamber shouldn't be placed in the sun -- it would get too hot inside.

"Cuttings (cut at a node) off of new growth" -- most of the time, cuttings from middle segment (not old, not new) roots better.
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RobinM
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

Thanks! So it looks like the sunny window is my main culprit. As far as the new vs middle growth, I didn't know middle was better. So maybe I should let the new growth grow a little before trimming it off? Also, I had no idea you could root crepe myrtle in water. I may give that a try with a few cuttings and see which roots better for me.

Great suggestions everyone. I really appreciate it. Also, TomC...I'd love to see pics of what you are referring to as well as I can't picture that either.
He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to grow up through the clod, he trusts in God

tomc
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

While the woody plants I routinely propagate are not crepe, I'm going to point out the differences between what we both do.
RobinM wrote:Last year I took about 10 cuttings from one of my crepe myrtles and was only able to get 2 of them to root (they are in the ground now so I'm not sure if they made it through the winter or not). I wanted to improve on last years try, so was hoping someone here could possibly show me some pics of your setup if you have one, or help me with tips so I can do better than last year.
Here is what I did last time:
1-10 Cuttings (cut at a node) off of new growth, about 6 inches each.
If I'm reading you right, your taking fully awake green growth, vs last years twig as a semi-hardwood cutting.
RobinM wrote:2-Took off all leaves except for the top 2.
We are doing the same thing on this step
RobinM wrote:3-dipped the cut end in rooting hormone
I dust the entire stem save the remaining terminal leaves
RobinM wrote:4-put in pot with sand/potting soil mix
5-watered
6-covered with a quart size freezer bag for green house effect.
My cuttings went into a terrarium made of two peanut butter jars and the rings to close the two jars together. It was filled with equal parts of sand and peat moss. Then watered.
RobinM wrote: 7-placed in south facing window
8-waited....and waited....and waited.... and only 2 rooted.
Mine went outdoors under a shading object (my bonsai bench) I watered every day it did not rain. I set mine out late in April and opened my jars the end of August and transplanted up into cells.

I used to fret and would pull cuttings to see if they had callused. Like baking a cake, opening the oven does not improve the result.
RobinM wrote:Any help here? I would really appreciate it. I'd like to get a handle on it before the new growth starts in a few months. My crepe myrtles usually start leafing out in mid May.

Since my last try, i've purchased a 5'H x 4'W x 2'D mini greenhouse and also have a 4'L grow light now so if these items will be helpful to use, i can do that.
I think you did OK for a first try. It may be that fully green cuttings have too much water in them; try starting with dormant cuttings from last years growth.

I tried substituting other things for the half 'n' half mix of sand and peat, and similarly low percent of cuttings to strike roots. Keep at it, practice will improve your percentages.
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RobinM
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Re: How to Propagate Crepe Myrtle from Cuttings?

So, when the trees wake back up this spring, I should take a few cuttings from last years new growth as opposed to this years new growth? Here is what I think I'm reading my plan for this year should be:

1-When the trees wake up, take cuttings from last years new growth
2-strip cuttings of all leaves except the top 2
3-dust higher up the stem than I did last time with rooting hormone
4-instead of using 1/2 sand and 1/2 potting soil, use 1/2 and 1/2 of sand and peat moss
5-water, cover with bags and put in a low light area (instead of sunny window) until rooted
6-when and if rooted, remove the bags and gradually move to sunny area

Does that sound about right?
He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to grow up through the clod, he trusts in God

tomc
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Re: How to Propagate Crepe Myrtle from Cuttings?

#1 yes last years new growth is called semi-hardwood.

#2 Every place rooting hormone touches that is exposed to inner bark is another place roots can callus and grow. More is better.

#'s 3,4,5,6 thats pretty much what I do

Go fer it!
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evtubbergh
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Re: Trying to locate a forum for tree propagation. Is this

I have a similar success rate doing the same things. The only piece of advice I can add is to scrape the bark at the node to assist nodule development.

tomc wrote:...a doubled terrarium made of the rings of two peanut butter jars and their lids cut back onto rings (and glued back together). Each jar has had at leaast one hole drilled in to aide watering and drainage.
Please post a picture Tom! I'd love to see this because I don't follow.

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RobinM
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Location: South Carolina Zone 8

Re: How to Propagate Crepe Myrtle from Cuttings?

Thanks again everyone. I'll give it a try this spring. In the meantime in have my summer garden seedlings to tend to :-). I have spring fever!!!
He who plants the seed beneath the sod and waits for it to grow up through the clod, he trusts in God

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