Propagating Illinois Everbearing Mulberry
This post shows the process of propagating Illinois everbearing mulberry trees using softwood cuttings and a mist irrigation system. The process involves taking cuttings during the summer, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone, and putting the cutting into a soil that drains very well. Then you mist the leaves every five to ten minutes during daylight hours.
The first step is to pick the right time of year and the right wood. Illinois everbearing mulberry does good with softwood and semi-softwood cuttings. These are cuttings that are taken from this year’s new growth in mid to late summer where the wood snaps when bent.
Then you cut the branches down so they have two to four internodes. These are any place a branch or leaf comes out. I usually go with three or four. You then leave two leafs at the top and remove the bottom leafs. If the leaves are large, cut them in half so they do not transpire too much and dry out.
Go for a Dip
You now dip the bottoms of the cuttings in rooting hormone. I use dip and grow liquid hormone because I only need the one product and I can mix it as strong as I like. You use more solution on harder wood and less on softer wood. Powder rooting hormone will work, but you may need to get several different products for different concentrations.
I’ll Bury You
Now it is time to put the cuttings into the ground. Push them into your planting medium about two inches down. Your planting medium should be something that drains freely and easily. You do not want to saturate the soil where disease and pathogens will proliferate.
These little cuttings will die if the dry out. You don’t want to soak the ground, but you do want to keep the leaves wet. The best way to do this is with a mist irrigation system that automatically comes on. I use the Galcon 8056 and have it programmed for 10 seconds on and 5 minutes off. This runs all day, but shuts totally off from 9 PM until 6 AM.
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