There is a weeping mulberry tree at my work and I would like to find out how to take a piece of it and grow one of my own. Can you help? Is it easy?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Leigh: A weeping mulberry (Morus alba ‘Pedula’) is a smaller tree that can add a nice structure/focal point to the garden. Different plants are propagated by different methods depending on characteristics of the plant and previous success rates had by the growers. The most common and successful method of propagation for a weeping mulberry is done by taking cuttings. There are softwood cuttings that are taken from new growth (June-July) and hardwood cuttings taken from older, woodier growth (fall-early winter). At this point I think you would be fine if you wanted to take a softwood cutting but you could also wait a couple months, let the growth harden off, and then take a hardwood cutting. Either way, make your cuttings between 4-6 inches long. The cuttings should be taken from the tips of the branches where the new growth has formed. 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.