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I Brought A Jasmine Plant Back From South Carolina About…

Ruth Asked

I brought a jasmine plant back from South Carolina about 10 years ago. It has been growing in a pot and blooming quite well. Two years ago it started vining so I transferred it to larger pot. It is flourishing with direct sun most of the day and still vining. I would love to give starts to friends, but the cuttings will not root, even with Root Grow. I’d also would like to start another plant in case something happens to this one. Can you help?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Ruth: The most successful way to propagate jasmine is by taking semi-hardwood cuttings. This means that the wood is partially mature and from the current season’s growth. The best time to take your cutting is from now until early fall. This will have given your plant enough time to put on new growth. It is best to take your cutting in the early morning before the heat of the day arrives and the shoots are more flexible. Use a clean, sharp pair of gardening scissors or pruners and take a 4-6 inch cutting from a lateral shoot from the upper part of the plant. Avoid taking a cutting from a stem that has a bud or bloom. This is because you want the energy to go into producing roots and not concentrated on the flower. After you have taken your cutting you will want to remove all the foliage except for the top two leaves. Dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone such as Root-Tone that you should be able to purchase at your local garden center. Pot up your cutting in a peat-based potting medium that allows for good drainage. The cuttings will root better if given the environment of a greenhouse. This can be done quite easily since most of us do not have access to an actual greenhouse. Of course you can purchase mini greenhouses but making your own is just as easy. First choose a container no bigger than 3 inches in diameter, or tray if you are taking more than one cutting at a time, and fill it three quarters with your potting medium. Then take your cutting and place it in the center of the container approximately an inch deep. Then add a bit of soil so there is still at least three quarters of an inch left at the top of the container. Tamp the soil down so the cutting is standing upright on its own and water well. To create the heat and humidity of a greenhouse you can use a clear plastic sandwich bag and put it over the top of your container; just make sure the plastic is not touching the cutting. A stick or pencil will work just fine. If you are using a tray you can make a wire frame to go over it and then stretch clear plastic over the frame. Place in an area where the cutting will receive indirect light and keep evenly moist. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out or become sopping wet. It can take several months for the cuttings to root.

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