Paul Nickerson

Rhododendron Stake Propagation

In Gardening, Propagation on November 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Rhododendron and Azalea are wonderful shrubs commonly used by landscapers. My father owns a campground, and uses rhododendron on the ends of many hedge rows dividing sites. Last winter the heavy snows and frosts damaged almost all of these bushes. In a response, we set out to propagate new bushes to replace future losses.
One of the easiest methods I have found to propagate Rhododendron is stake propagation. I have also successfully used this method to propagate dogwood shrubs, Cornus sericea. Simply take a saw, or large pruners, and cut long sections, a couple of feet on length, from the branches of the plant. I prefer to use sections that are at least an inch in diameter.
When you have harvested these stakes, prune any large offsets, and remove almost all of the vegetation. These stakes can be driven directly into the ground where they are desired, or can be potted in buckets or a nursery field. In this case we hammered them along the edge of the woods near an irrigation pond where the ground stays fairly moist. The key to successful stake propagation is maintaining a moist environment to facilitate healthy root development.

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