This post, How to Transplant Propagated Rooted Cuttings, addresses two great questions I have received on the matter. The two questions are: When do you go about transplanting propagated rooted cuttings and how close together can you plant the cuttings without the roots getting tangled up? The short answer is transplanting propagated rooted cuttings is easy. It’s just a matter of timing. The same answer holds for how close you plant them together.
The question about transplanting rooted cuttings comes from a post I recently posted on propagating Illinois everbearing mulberry. Since this propagation technique is using softwood cuttings that were taken in the summer, you have to at the very least wait until the plants go dormant. All of the plants that I’m propagating with this method are deciduous, meaning the lose their leaves in the winter. That is when they are dormant. So the answer to the timing question is: from August to December or about four months.
Softwood cuttings are usually kept in a bed with a mist system keeping them moist. Because of this they almost always need to be transplanted at some point after they get roots. I run Great Escape Nursery and need to move all plants out of my beds when they are dormant so I can free the bed up for the next season. The exception to this is when we are doing hardwood cuttings. The picture above shows the few remaining plants I have left from last year that are potted up. They went into the pots in March of 2016.
Hardwood cuttings are taken in the winter. They will root over the spring and into summer, but must be left alone until they go dormant the following winter. If they are transplanted in the spring or summer, it will shock them and likely kill them. The best thing to do if you are not a nursery is to put the hardwood cuttings where you want them to go and leave them there. Hardwood cuttings do not need a mist system like softwood cuttings do, so they can be placed in their final spot.
How Close Together
How close together do you put softwood cuttings? Well the answer to that question is “it depends” 🙂 If they are going to be moved in four to six months, then they can be put closer together than if they are staying in a bed for a year or longer. It also matters as to what plant it is. An elderberry puts out relatively large roots and needs more space than an aronia plant. The picture below shows the spacing of the plants I have in one of my beds right now.
With softwood cuttings I space my rows 2″ apart for the most part. Elderberries get 4 inches. Plant spacing in the row itself is usually 1-1/2 inches for most of my plants. I do give elderberries about two to three inches between the plants. One thing to keep in mind is that I’m running a nursery and ship bare root plants. Most of them will be moved to a refrigerator in the dead of winter to keep them dormant further into the spring. When I’m moving them into a refrigerator, an entire row is going in all at once, so I’m to too worried about digging up one plant and disturbing the one next to it because I’m taking them all at once.
These were two great questions that were asked on my YouTube channel in the comments section. If you have any questions, please ask. There are likely others that have the same question and it helps me get the word out when I don’t fully explain something the first time around. For those that do comment and ask questions – Thank You!
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Check out our YouTube episode titled Transplanting Propagated Rooted Cuttings which goes into a lot more details on this subject.
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