I live in Michigan, and did some online searching; the only place I could
find that had cheap starts (rooted twigs in starter pots, really) didn't
respond to my emails- everyone else is more expensive that I can afford, or
can't confirm their variety. I live in cold Michigan, so I need to make
sure the plants will survive here.
Here's the thing- if I can't find a cheap source (I'll need about 160
plants to grow my wife's hedgerow) then at least I have more time than
money, and maybe I can just grow my own. If I find a boxwood now at the
garden store, and trim every branch and use rooting hormone, and just try
to keep them alive inside over the winter...how long do they take to root,
and what percent of clippings root successfully? Any tips? I don't mind
starting with small plants and taking a few years to make the hedges, as
opposed to buying 1+ gallon pots at several dollar each.
Keith in Michigan
You will probably want one of the Korean hybrid Box, Buxus microphylla
'koreana', or cultivars which have been crossed/back-crossed with koreana
for cold hardiness. Usually forms a rounded to conical shape.'Wintergreen',
'Winter Gem', and 'Winter Beauty' are crosses or selections of var. koreana
that are quite cold hardy and retain green foliage although sometimes
bronzed or yellowed in winter. Does better in North than South. These
'Winter' cultivars have excellent cold hardiness and fine looks where they
are the only choice in cold areas. Dirr makes these notes about propogation
'Cuttings root readily anytime of year; have had good success with 1000 to
3000 ppm KIBA, quick dip, peat:perlite, mist or poly-tent; abundant
literature on boxwood cutting propagation; see Dirr and Heuser, 1987; a
qualification is necessary relative to rooting readily, in actuality they
will root but in our work the 'Green Velvet' et al. series has taken 12
weeks; ideally take cuttings after the growth has hardened in summer.'
David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7)
I hae rooted some 3 or 4 years ago and they are a long way from being
planted in a hedgerow. I think the 1 gallon pots you buy in the nursery
are probably 6 o 7 years old. So be paitient.
I'm in Eastern Ontario zone 6a
It took about 5 years for my softwood cuttings to be a decent 2 1/2 ft.
tall, with about a 75% success rate. Cuttings were taken in the spring,
from a hedge I was paid to trim. I think you would need to buy more than
one bush to get all the starts that you want. ;)
I don't know about keeping them inside though, unless you have a cool
room. Mine were fine outside in Zone 5 Ohio. You might want to get a
book about plant propagation from the library. That's what I did.
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