Rooting Lilacs from Cuttings is a wonderful way to propagate this Spring favorite. Heirloom varieties are the sweetest smelling but finding them in garden centers is difficult.
Moving? Rooting Lilacs from cuttings is a sure way to take your beloved Lilacs with you to your new home.
I love the scent of lilacs in the Spring. How they perfume the air in the Spring! The lilacs in my area are all mostly heirloom varieties planted back in the 40’s when this neighborhood was established for the workers of the mill. Highly fragrant and tough as nails, even the abandoned ones are still performing with no irrigating or tending.
My kind of plant!
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You can also propagate Lilacs from Suckers! Fast and easy.
(For my latest method that works on a windowsill check out this post: ROOTING ROSES, it will work for the lilacs too!)
Dyna Gro (what I am using currently)
Cloning Gel (what I used for these)
Garden Safe Take Root (some of I have used in the past and did fine with)
Old wine crate or DIY WOOD CRATE
10 Gal. Fish Tank (I found mine at Wal-Mart)
First I prepare my propagation box.
I fill it with my own mixture of 2 parts compost (I get this from a local company that composts garden debris on a huge scale, it is similar to potting soil you buy at a garden center), 1 part perlite and 1 part sand or coconut coir. (I am sure there are better mixtures but I used what I had on hand and I have had success with this in the past).
The crate has slats on the bottom but there are wide gaps between the slats so this drains very well.
I have it sitting on the gravel floor of my greenhouse in an area that direct sunlight will not hit but it still gets plenty of bright light.
I will fill the box more with my potting mix until it is nearly full.
Cover for Humidity
These fish tanks come in handy in creating a mini greenhouse effect while being tall enough for longer cuttings. They last for years if proper care is taken.
Choose new growth just after the Lilacs is done blooming. This varies by your growing Zone. For me that is June. Cut a branch about 8 to 12 inches long.
Take plenty of cuttings, there is about a 50/50 success rater so the more you try to start the more chance of success.
Prepare the Cuttings
I haul them all to my potting bench and begin.
If the cutting is 8 inches I leave it that long, if it is 12 inches I cut it in half. Strip most of the leaves from the cutting.
Coat the ends into the rooting medium called Olivia’s Cloning Gel.
I use a small paint brush to cover the length of stem that will be under the growing medium.
Below you can see nodes on the stem, that is where roots begin and you want a good portion of nodes below the soil line. You want to try and get at least 3 nodes under the soil line.
You may have noted some of these are also rose cuttings. I like to fill up my box when I am doing cuttings.
Now that they are all dipped and thoroughly coated with the rooting gel I stick them in the potting soil mixture. I use a pencil to pre-make a hole to slide them in so as not to rub off the cloning gel as it is placed.
I place them far enough apart they do not touch each other and away from the edges so they will not touch the glass of the cover.
I should take off more leaves, the leaves tend to be where the fungus starts but for photo purposes I will leave them on, easier to see where the cuttings are.
After placing all the cuttings in the box I carefully set the cover over them.
You can see there is room around the fish tank where the potting soil shows and that is how I water this without having to lift the tank. You don’t want the soil very wet just damp, if it is too wet you drown the poor cutting or encourage the fungus.
Also prop up the tank a bit to let air flow in. You should get some roots in about a month to 2 months. You can leave the newly rooted cuttings to get a bit more rooted before transplanting them to their own pots or you can go ahead and pot them up individually. Do let them grow in pots for awhile to get firmly established and hardy enough to take the rigors of garden life.
Before you know it you will be picking beautiful boquets like this one…
And create heavenly scented displays for your home.
Are you hopeless at growing things? Try painting Lilacs, click here for a Free Tutorial on How to Paint Lilacs!
Need tips on growing and caring for your Lilacs? Click here for that info! How to Grow Lilacs.
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