How can I grow new azaleas from a rooted cutting?

Asked April 14, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

I have a beautiful azalea that has been with us for at least as long as we have had our house (26 years). It has survived kids climbing around and most recently deer. I would love to see if I could propagate other azalea's from it's cuttings. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this. Thanks. I am a 2014 Master Gardener graduate and know of a number of people who would love to do this. Thanks for your help.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

You'll want 4-6 inch cuttings taken in June or July or later, even in fall. Leave 4-6 leaves, and strip off any other leaves. You can dip the cut end in rooting hormone, but it's not strictly necessary.
Use a pencil (or similar) to make a planting hole in a peat:perlite or other organic potting medium. Insert the cutting, one per hole, and firm soil around it gently. Keep shaded and the soil moist but not continually soggy.

Growers would use a shaded greenhouse and mist, but homeowners can provide a moist humid spot. You can try putting the potted plants in a plastic chamber of some sort, but heat build-up may be a problem in midsummer. Root rot is your biggest worry, so don't overdo the moisture.

Have fun.