Kids’ Valley Garden

Propagating Shrubs

Layering is the easiest way to make more shrubs from one that you like. If you want to try layering a shrub ask your parents permission first before you attack their bushes.

  • The best time of year to layer shrubs is late spring or early summer.
  • Select a young, flexible branch from near the outside of the shrub that is about 1/4 to 1/2" thick (.5 to 1 cm).
  • Gently bend it down to see if it will touch the ground and still have some branch left over. Don’t try to bend old growth or it will snap off.
  • Dig a hole 2" deep (5 cm) and loosen thesoilto encourage better rooting.
  • Add some compost to the loosesoilto make it even easier for the new roots to grow.
  • Strip off any leaves that will end up underground.
  • Rub the underside of the bend with a rough rock to remove a layer of the outer bark along a 2" section (5 cm).
  • If you have some rooting hormone for woody plants apply it to the exposed section to help speed up the rooting process. It will still work without rooting hormone but it will take a little longer.
  • Place the branch across and into the hole as deep as it will go. Make sure the debarked section is facing down and covered with a good layer of moist
  • Keep the branch from popping back up by placing a flat rock over it. It should be heavy enough to hold the branch down without crushing it. stake a tree
  • If your branch is flexible enough you can stake the end upright and this will give you a better shaped plant.
  • water the area well and mulch the area well. Keep an eye on the new plant to make sure it stays moist.
  • Tie a ribbon around the new branch so you’ll be able to find it next spring when you check to see how well it has rooted.
  • New layerings that you propagate should be at least 2’ high (60cm) before you cut them from the parent plant.
  • Label your new sapling including its name, the colour of its flowers, year it was propagated and where it came from.

The amount of time it takes to propagate a new shrub depends on the type of plant you choose. Most are ready to be cut from the parent plant the following spring.

  • Try layering different kinds of shrubs but always ask your parents first which ones you are allowed to try.
  • Gardeners are always looking for new plants. If you propagated more new saplings than you can use share them with your neighbours and friends.
  • They will love to share the story of how that particular plant came to their garden.

shrubs planning


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