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Propagating scheffleras: which parts to use?

It's easy to propagate scheffleras if you know which sections are the most likely to root. As shown above, we experimented with several parts of a plant to find out which ones were the best for propagating. The results? By far the easiest and quickest way to get a new plant is to root the growing tip. You can take even a large top section, such as the one shown in the lower right picture above, and get a healthy, well-rooted new plant.

Side shoots (consisting of one or more leaves connected to a small section stripped off the stem) also root within five to six weeks, but you end up with a much smaller plant. And it takes many weeks after rooting before the tiny shoot at the base of the cutting starts to develop.

A section of bare stem from the middle of a branch is the least promising, although ours surprised us by producing a number of leaves. Since it never developed roots, it was a failure as a cutting.

It's simplest to start cuttings in water. To ensure best results, keep the water fresh and clear by changing it every few days. Or add a few nuggets of horticultural charcoal to the water so you don't have to change it so frequently. Keep cuttings in a bright, warm spot, away ftom drafts. Plants will develop more quickly if you set them under fluorescent lights left on about 12 hours per day.

When snipping off sections of your plant for cuttings, remember that this is an opportunity to reshape an overgrown schefflera. After you remove gangly stems, the remaining stump often resprouts, as shown at left, and the new growth can help fill in bare spots.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1989
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