Q: Thanks for the free wild coffee plant cuttings. Picked them up last week. I can’t remember what I was told on how to propagate them. Help me, please … again.
Answer: You can propagate many ornamental landscape plant cuttings in one of three ways, and you may want to try all three to see which method provides you with the best results. All three should be attempted in the shade. If there are flowers on the plant, cut them off for all three procedures.
The first option is to reprune the cutting and place it in a clear container with water in the shade, maybe on your lanai or front porch. You will be able to easily see when roots start to grow.
The second method is to reprune the base of the cutting and plant the cutting in moist potting soil. Place it in the shade, making sure the soil remains moist.
The third method is the same as the second, except you use a rooting hormone that you can purchase at big box stores and gardening centers and nurseries. Put a small amount of the rooting hormone in a disposable dish. Dip the cutting in water and then into the rooting hormone in the dish. (If there is an issue with the plant cutting, you do not want to contaminate the entire container of rooting hormone.) When you’re done, put the dish in your household trash.
Make a small hole in the moist potting soil mix in the planting container you’re using with a pencil or other such object, then insert the cutting into the hole. Wait several weeks before checking to see if there are roots on the plants in the potting soil. When rooted, plant in the ground, and water daily if we don’t get rain until the plants are established.
Lynn Barber is the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods agent at Hillsborough Extension. Reach her at BarberL@hillsboroughcounty.org.