Prune and Root

Rooting figs and other woody plants often happens because we prune the plants and cannot resist trying to start another one. I played in the yard while my grandmother cut back the French hydrangeas on a warm day in February. To keep the bushes under the windows, she cut back some of the stems fairly hard each year, while on the others, she just trimmed the tips to retain the flowers. Almost absentmindedly, she trimmed each long, woody stem to 8-12 inches long, stuck it into the soil next to its parent, and walked away. Most rooted. Since then, I’ve rooted figs, grapes, and even crepe myrtles using this method. But I add one important step that increases my success rate considerably. I put a little Hormex rooting hormone powder into an envelope and carry it with me when I prune. I dip each new cutting into Hormex, and recommend that you do, too.

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