Green Thumbs

How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest

Basic Methods of Propagation

1.

Division

Dig, separate with your hands or a shovel, replant or repot and water.  Consider using a root stimulator (extremely weak organic fertilizer) solution on both sections of the division to help the plants rebound a bit more quickly.  It's really that easy.

2.

Seeds

SeedsObserve when Mother nature disperses the seeds of the plant you are trying to propagate and you do the same.  Most native plant seeds need good contact with the soil, water and to be only VERY lightly covered with just a tiny amount of soil.  Somehow the seeds know the timing of which season they are supposed to germinate and start new life.  Research for tips on the specific species you are planting on how to be more successful.  For example, some seeds respond well to pre-soaking in water prior to planting.  Others, want to be kept in the cold and dark for a minimal period (to mimic a winter season).  Still some germinate easily once they receive the proper amount of water and light, but will not germinate if buried too deeply.  Others have a very hard seed coat that needs to be scratched or lightly nicked.  Plant more seeds than you really want, knowing that some seeds will be found by wildlife.  If you are lucky and have a thick germination, trim or separate dense seedlings so they don't crowd each other out.

3.

Cuttings

For tip cuttings, it is best to take cuttings from portions of plants that show new growth, but that do NOT have a bloom or bud on them.  Trim cuttings 3-6" long, remove all but a few leaves at tips, dip cut end in a root starter powder or gel if using one, insert cutting into loose, moist but well drained soil and keep cuttings moist / misted every day until new roots are formed.  Slowly harden off and lightly fertilize as new growth begins.

Share Your Knowledge

Please share your successful propagation experiences with native plants.  See the Native Plant Propagation Info  form and submit completed responses to member, Martha Mullens for compilation into a local reference guide.