Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Taking a start from a Lilac bush. Propagating a lilac bush by removing a sucker. 1.7.14

 This sprout was about one foot away from a purple flowered lilac bush.  It was an offshoot from that bush.  I sliced through the main stem with the shovel.  Then I dug it out.

Doesn't look too promising but I've seen less promising plants grow.  So maybe.

I pruned the cut, to make it smooth instead of ragged.  Pruned the top back a little.  It is dormant, so there are no leaves to transpire and wilt.  It will make new leaves at a size it can support with the roots.

Maybe the roots will extend a  little during the winter, using reserve stored carbohydrates from the stem.  That's why I didn't prune it back more.
I am determined not to add odds and ends into the vegetable bed.  So now I've planted the lilac start in the vegetable bed.  It is not in the way.  The vegetables get TLC, so the lilac will also get some TLC for the next year.

If it survives and grows, I can move it to a permanent location next year.

This is the general concept.  Traditional and super simple.

Find lilac bush with suckers.

Clear away weeds or stems that might be in the way.

Use shovel to slice through underground stem connecting sucker to parent bush.  I try to do this close to the parent bush.  That way I get more roots on the sucker.

Lilac Bush with suckers

Newly planted lilac suckers
 Dig around sucker and carefully dig it up.  It may not have a lot of roots.

Re-plant the sucker - now a new start of the lilac bush - in a sheltered location so it doesn't dry out this year.

This will work for other bushes that develop suckers - figs, forsythia, quince, etc.

I think the main thing is there are already a few roots.  A hardwood cutting would be almost the same but without roots.  It's more difficult to get roots growing from the stem, than to promote increase of root growth that has already begun.

The drawings are mine.  I am not an artist.

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