how to propagate an old croton ...

woollady(z8 CA)September 6, 2010

hi all,i have a 22 year old croton(yes it' that old)that i have kept in a 12" pot for many years and it has done great.every couple of years i give it new soil.this year it started losing a lot of its leaves and now looks kinda like a 3' tree with leaves at the top of the branches.should i try to propagate it?what is the best way to do this?will leaves grow again up and down the main trunk and side branches?how do i encourage it to do so?if i do prpagate it,what do i do with the old plant?i don't want it to die if possible,im attached to it,like to give it a chance.any help will be greatly appreciated.thanks!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If you want a single stem plant, take tip cuttings. Remove all but a few leaves at the tip of the plant. Prepare the cutting so there is 2-3" of bare stem below the first leaf. Use perlite, screened Turface, or screened floor-dry from a NAPA or Car Quest store as your rooting medium. Stick the cutting(s) so the bottom leaf is barely above the rooting medium. Keep medium barely moist and the plant in dappled or open shade.

If you want a bushy plant, with multiple stems, cut the tip of the stem off, making sure to remove the apical meristem (growing point at the branch end. Then, remove leaves from the bottom leaving 2-3 young leaves at the top of the stem.

In either case, if the leaves are large, cut them in half across the veins to reduce transpirational water loss. Try to keep plants sheltered from the wind. No rooting hormone should be necessary - the cuttings strike easily.

You can also rejuvenate the rest of the plant, too. If you have interest, I'll walk you through it.

Al

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 4:12PM
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