Propagating Shrubs

Step-by-step instructions for propagating gardenias, hibiscus and azaleas.
Similar Topics:
  1. Shrubs
  2. Flowers
  3. Plants
tig205_3a

tig205_3a

If you have a flowering shrub and would like another just like it, propagate a cutting from the plant to create a duplicate version. Host Jamie McMurray demonstrates the different methods of shrub propagation:

To propagate a gardenia:

1. Take a cutting from the shrub, choosing a stem that is neither new or old growth but a semi-hardwood cutting from the midsection of a stem.

tig205_3b

tig205_3b

2. Using sterile, sharp shears, cut just above a leaf axil. Note: A quick way to sterilize your cutting shears is to dip the blades in rubbing alcohol.

3. Remove the leaves along the base of the stem.

4. Make a diagonal cut at the base of the stem.

tig205_3c

tig205_3c

5. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone.

6. Make a small hole in the potting soil, and plant the cutting. Remember to use a soil that drains well.

7. Gently tamp the soil around the stem, and water thoroughly.

tig205_3d

tig205_3d

8. To create a humid environment for the plant, stake toothpicks, chopsticks, or even pencils around the base of the plant and place a piece of plastic over the top.

To propagate an azalea:

tig205_3e

tig205_3e

1. Find a hardwood stem, and use a sterilized, sharp knife to cut an inverted "V"-shape along the underside of the stem.

tig205_3f

tig205_3f

2. Place a tray of moist soil beneath the stem, and place the cut edge on top of the soil.

 

tig205_3g

tig205_3g

3. Place a brick on top of the stem to hold it in place.
 

4. Over the following several weeks, the cut area will form roots. Once it has taken root, you can cut it away from the original plant.

To propagate a hibiscus:

1. Use a sterilized knife to make a shallow cut just below where a side branch joins the main stem.

tig205_3h

tig205_3h

2. Pull the side branch down, tearing it off. The branch won't tear below where you've incised the main stem.

3. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone, and plant in a container of soil.

Note: If you're not sure of the technique to use for a particular type of flowering shrub, check with your local nursery.

Next Up

Propagating Plants: Layering Shrubs and Climbers

The stems of climbers and shrubs sometimes root when they touch the soil, and you can harness this tendency to make new plants.

Planting a Shrub

Use these step-by-step instructions to easily plant an evergreen shrub.

Renovating a Flowering Shrub

To reduce shrubs' size and width and rejuvenate them, follow these pruning techniques.

Turn Your Shrubs into Trees

Learn about shrubs you can turn into trees with just a little pruning.

Planting Shrubs from Containers

If you have just bought a container-grown shrub, first water it well by plunging it in water for about an hour, then allow it to drain. 

Grow a Mistletoe Shrub

The evergreen mistletoe plant has become an essential part of our Christmas tradition, and everyone loves its romantic connotations.

How to Plant a Currant Bush

Like glittering rubies, red currants ripen on the bush from midsummer.

Overly Thorny Rose Bush

Find out what could be wrong if your rose bush starts producing lots of thorns.

How to Plant Shrubs

Learn how to plant shrubs in your garden with these five easy steps. 

How to Plant Shrubs

Shrubs add structure and fill out your garden, providing density and dimensionality where it's most needed. They're simpler to install than you may know. Here, we walk you through it.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.