I was planting a dwarf nandina. The top broke off, leaving a stub. Will the plant with the stubb grow again? If I place what broke off in the soil, will it root?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Marla in Texas: I am not sure if you are asking if the stub with the roots attached will put on new growth or if you can start a new plant from the part that broke off, so let’s start with the stub. If there is no foliage left then chances are slim that it will put on new growth. If it does, it will take years before it looks like the plant you purchased. If you have a nonprominent space in the garden you might just plant it and see what happens. As for starting a new plant from the piece that broke off, it may be possible to propagate vegetatively if the piece is still viable. This is not the best time of year to take cuttings but since you live in a warmer climate you may have better luck. If you want to try to take a cutting to see if it will root, you will want to do this as soon as possible. You will want to make your cutting between 4-6 inches long. Remove all the foliage except for the top inch or 2 of the cutting. Dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone that you should be able to find at your local garden center, and then plant about 1 inch deep into a small container no bigger than 4 inches. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes. It is best to use a mixture of half sand and half peat or perlite. After you plant it, water it well and keep the soil consistently moist. The cutting should root gradually and then you can plant it in a larger container or directly into the garden.