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My Grandmother And I Are Trying To Transplant The Limbs…

Danielle Asked

My grandmother and I are trying to transplant the limbs of a nonbearing mulberry, and we were wondering if that is possible to do, or are we just planting a dead limb?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Danielle in Texas: Morus alba, or the common mulberry, can be propagated by seed, tissue culture, and cuttings. Since you are growing a fruitless cultivar, collecting seed is not an option so taking a cutting is the way to go about producing a new plant. If you have planted a large limb then do not get your hopes up. Cuttings are typically only a few inches long, and for best results are dipped into a rooting hormone before planted. There are softwood cuttings that are taken from new growth (June-July) and hardwood cuttings taken from older, woodier growth (fall-early winter). The cuttings should be taken from the tips of the branches where the new growth has formed. They should be 4-6 inches long. You will want to 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. You will want to have your containers ready to be planted before taking your cuttings because you do not want them to dry out. After they are potted up, water them well and cover them with a clear plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse. Use a bamboo stake or a stick to make sure the bag does not touch the cutting. Place in an area with filtered light, avoiding direct sun. Do not let the soil completely dry out but you never want it sopping wet either. If there is condensation on the bag you will not need to water. The cutting should root gradually and then you can plant it in a larger container or directly into the garden.

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