How To Root Lilac Cuttings In Water?
Root cutting of lilacs is one of the most popular methods for propagation of these plants. The method involves taking a leaf or branch from a plant and placing it into some kind of container with water (or other nutrient solution) so that the new plant grows roots and eventually becomes its own separate plant. The idea behind this method is to get rid of the need for soil and to give the plant a chance to grow naturally without having to be tended by humans.
The main disadvantage of rooting lilacs in water is that they take longer than rooting any other type of plant. They usually require at least three years before they produce flowers, which means that you will have to wait until then if you want your new plants to flower. However, if you are patient enough to wait that long, you might just get lucky and get a beautiful plant!
In order to successfully root lilacs in water, there are several things that must happen. First of all, the leaf or branch needs to be healthy and free of fungus or disease. If not, the chances of success decrease significantly.
Second of all, the plant needs to have plenty of light. Lilacs don’t do well if they don’t get a lot of sun, so make sure that you keep the plant in an area where it can get at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. If this means that you will need to move it from somewhere else (such as your house or garage) then do so as soon as possible.
There are a few different ways that you can go about rooting your lilac cuttings in water. First of all, you can fill up a glass or vase with water and stir in a little bit of nutrient solution. You can buy some nutrient solution from your local gardening store, or you could even use things like Epsom salt or Miracle Gro to provide the nutrients that the plant needs to grow.
After you have added the mixture of water and nutrients to your container, you can then take your leaf or branch and place it inside. The plant part needs to be completely under water, so you might have to weigh it down with a coin or something similar to make sure that it stays down there.
After the lilac cutting has been placed into the water, then you just need to keep an eye on it every day and make sure that the water level doesn’t drop too much. You may need to top it up every few days. After a few months you should see some roots start to appear, at which point you can remove the plant from the water and pot it in soil.
Another way that you can root lilac cuttings is by using the ‘paper pot technique’. To do this, take a rectangular piece of paper (like a piece of printer paper) and fold it over twice length-ways so it looks like an ‘A4’ page. On the longer side of the page, draw a line parallel to the long side about 1/3 of the way from the bottom.
This should give you a flap that sticks out at the bottom.
On the bottom part of the ‘A4’ page (the bit that is not folded over), draw a line half-way between the left and right sides. This should give you two flaps, one on the left and one on the right, extending off the bottom of the page.
To use this piece of paper, first of all get your lilac cutting (remember, it must be a leaf or branch that has only been exposed to nature and not any other chemicals). Cut the leaf or branch so that it is between 2-5cm long. Then, place the leaf or branch on the line you drew halfway down the page, on the right side (the side without the flap).
You need to make sure that the plant part is flat against the page and that none of the bottom is hanging out below the line.
Fold the flap on the right up and over the plant, tucking it under so that it stays in place. Next, take the flap on the left side and do the same thing, tucking it under the plant to keep it in place. Finally, fold the bottom part of the page over and slip the lilac cutting inside.
Make sure that none of the plant is poking out from any of the open sides.
You now need to place this ‘package’ somewhere with a lot of light and keep an eye on it every day. Water it every couple of days and after a few weeks you should see some roots start to form. Once this happens, remove the package from the paper and pot the lilac cutting in soil as normal.
The third way that you can root a lilac cutting is by layering. Layering is where you bend a branch down to the ground and covering it with soil, so that it can grow roots. To do this, you need to find a healthy branch near the base of the plant.
Cut the branch with some kitchen scissors so that it is between 5-10cm long.
Next, take a bowl or something similar that will fit around the base of the branch you just cut and dig a small hole in the soil about 1/2 inch deep. Place the base of the branch in the hole and cover it with soil. You then need to place a large book on top of the soil so that it is pressing down on the stem.
Make sure that the book is heavy enough that it won’t be lifted up by the wind, but not so heavy that it squashes your stem. The book needs to be left there for at least four weeks, but after three months you should see new growth. Once the stem has grown roots, you can pot up the new plant as normal.
You can also grow new lilacs from seeds. To do this, take some soil and mix in some sand, sawdust or shredded paper. Moisten the soil and spread it out over a cookie tray with edges or a cake pan.
Make sure that the soil is about 1-2 inches deep. Scatter the seeds over the top of the soil and gently press them down.
Once the seeds are in place, keep the tray in a sunny spot and keep the soil moist. You can also cover the top with saran wrap to keep it warm and trap the moisture in. Keep the soil moist, not soaking, and after 6-8 weeks you should see the seeds sprout.
After they have sprouted, you can pot them up individually in little pots and grow them on until they are big enough to plant outside.
You can also plant the seeds directly into a garden. After soaking them in water for a few hours, just dig a hole big enough for the seed and cover with loose soil. Keep the area well watered and once the seed has sprouted you can transplant it into a bigger pot.
After a year or two the plant should be big enough to plant outside.
So there you have it, three different ways of growing new lilacs from old ones. Lilacs are beautiful and scented so they are great plants to have in and around your home. They also attract birds and butterflies so they are a great choice for the environmentally minded gardener.
If you enjoy growing flowers from cuttings, or you just enjoy growing things in general, you might be interested in becoming a professional gardener. This is a job that has many different facets and can keep you busy for most of the year.
The first thing that you need to do if you want to become a professional gardener is to take some classes in horticulture. You can learn about the different types of plants, soil preparation, planting, pruning, irrigation and more. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the old saying goes, and this is especially true when it comes to gardening.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Photosynthetic daily light integral during propagation influences rooting and growth of cuttings and subsequent development of New Guinea impatiens and … by RG Lopez, ES Runkle – HortScience, 2008 – journals.ashs.org
Endogeneous levels of indole-3-acetic acid and abscisic acid during the rooting of Cotinus coggygria cuttings taken at different times of the year by D Blakesley, GD Weston, MC Elliott – Plant Growth Regulation, 1991 – Springer
Relationships between shoot growth and rooting of cuttings in three contrasting species of ornamental shrub by YH Howard – Journal of Horticultural Science, 1996 – Taylor & Francis
In vitro propagation using adventitious buds technique as a source of new variability in chrysanthemum by M Zalewska, J Lema-Rumińska, N Miler – Scientia Horticulturae, 2007 – Elsevier
In vitro propagation of prairie gentian by P Semeniuk, RJ Griesbach – Plant cell, tissue and organ culture, 1987 – Springer
Growing Lilacs by HM Cathey – 1980 – books.google.com