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Juniper is considered one of the most durable and diverse plants used in garden design. Representatives of this vast family are warm and light-loving, they tolerate drought very well and do not like places with high groundwater levels. Juniper made to strengthen the slopes, use it as hedges and borders, to shade the beauty of flowers in rockeries. He is also allowed to solo on the lawn or located deep in the garden to create dark spots in the background of flowering undersized plants.
How to propagate juniper
Juniper is a plant unique in many respects. So, even in natural conditions, this long-lived plant is very difficult to propagate by seeds. There is no need to talk about attempts to sow seeds at home with a positive color, since to implement this plan you will have to spend a lot of effort and money. However, this will not be a guarantee of obtaining high-quality planting material. And the thing is that the reproduction by seeds pushes off the fruiting of juniper bushes for at least 10 years, and seedlings grow very slowly.
A great alternative to seeds is cuttings. This method is easy to organize at home, and the whole process takes literally several months. The seedlings obtained by the method of cuttings have a stronger root system, better survive adverse conditions and give rapid growth.
Depending on the time of the proposed planting in the soil, juniper must be propagated at different times of the year:
- for planting in spring, cuttings are harvested no later than mid-February;
- for planting in autumn, cuttings of plants are recommended from the beginning of summer.
Such a gradation of terms is not accidental - conifers, including juniper, form the root system for a long time. The first viable roots appear on the cuttings after 25 days, and the rooting of planting material occurs no earlier than 2 months after the start of the procedure for planting them in a special substrate.
Another point that must be taken into account when propagating by cuttings is their "correct" size. They, unlike other garden crops, are always more dense and voluminous. That is why their length should not exceed 25 cm. In addition, it is important to pay attention to their slope. If erect types of juniper can be planted for germination vertically, then creeping or with a spreading crown is best planted with an inclination of 45-55 degrees.
How to propagate juniper cuttings
The selection of cuttings and their preparation
A separate line is worth mentioning the selection of cuttings for propagation, from which it will be possible to grow up healthy, fully repeating characteristics of the plant mother plants. There are several immutable rules here:
- The material must be cut from branches in the upper and middle parts of the crown. In this case, the cuttings should not be semi-lignified.
- If you want to grow a sprawling juniper bush, take the cuttings from the ends of the lateral branches. At the same time, branches taken from the middle of the bush growing vertically in the maximum proximity to the stem (in colonized varieties and varieties), the cuttings will also grow upward and not branch much.
- It is necessary to cut the cuttings from the mother plant with the “heel”, that is, a small part of the branch on which they grew. This will serve as a quicker root.
- The conifers from harvested cuttings must be removed with a sharp clerical knife without damaging the bark.
To successfully propagate the juniper, the cuttings will need treatment with a root stimulant. There are many similar drugs, however, there are secrets here. So, rooting the cuttings in a jar with a rooting agent solution is unlikely to succeed, since the juniper bark is actively peeling off in water, which significantly reduces the productivity of planting material. The best option is to treat the cut with a powdery rooting agent or paste. Most gardeners even prefer to moisten the substrate in which the cuttings will be located with stimulants of root formation.
Preparation of substrate for germination of cuttings
The soil for rooting cuttings must meet the following requirements:
- Be light and loose, without the risk of compaction.
- Be breathable.
- Be moisture-resistant and do not dry out too quickly.
A mixture of peat and sand taken in equal parts without the addition of lime or ash possesses such characteristics. Of course, it will dry out quickly enough, therefore, after planting material selected for propagation and moistening is placed in it, it is recommended to cover the rooting container with a film or a transparent polymer cap.
The technology for planting cuttings in a substrate is quite simple. First of all, it is necessary to make holes on the surface of the substrate with a pencil or stick with a diameter of not more than 1 cm and a depth of 3-4 cm. The distance between them should be 5 to 8 cm. Insert the cuttings carefully so as not to damage the heel.
Further, the soil is moderately compacted, so that the particles of the substrate are firmly pressed against the cuttings, and moisturize its surface. It is important not to use a sprayer so that water does not get on the juniper branches. This completes the landing, and the greenhouse can be covered with a cap of film or other material.
For quick germination, pots or containers are placed in a place with diffused light. It is very important that direct sunlight does not fall on the container. They rarely need additional watering, and only in the case of total drying out of the soil coma. To avoid delaying root formation, you can spill it slightly with water at room temperature.
The temperature during the germination of juniper cuttings should be in the range of 18-23 degrees. With its decrease, rot may develop, while with an increase, the gardener runs the risk of losing the cuttings due to drying. In addition, too high ambient temperature will lead to rapid drying of the substrate.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about the features of cultivation of Chinese juniper "Stricta".
Juniper: planting and care
You can plant rooted juniper cuttings in a permanent place 65-70 days after they are placed in a greenhouse. It is important at the same time to handle the seedlings very carefully, since their roots are very thin and brittle. The lump of earth must in no case be destroyed.
In some cases, for example, when planting in the fall, it is recommended to plant seedlings together with a container in the garden. This option is suitable for instances that are rooted in separate pots. Such plants need to be warmed thoroughly, and the risk of freezing of juniper remains quite high. That is why many gardeners prefer to plant them in the spring, leaving them in the room for the winter.