View Full Version : Malachathamnus root cuttings
09-10-2000, 04:18 PM
We have a number of Malachathamnus plants growing in our yard, and they're all doing amazingly well. Too well, in fact, and they're spreading by underground runners. I'd love to start some root cuttings as new plants to give away, but so far I haven't suceeded. I dig down, extract a plantlet and a couple of inches of root about 1/4' thick, and pot it up. But it withers and dies. Does anyone have any tips? Right time of year? I hate to waste too many plants by experimenting.
09-12-2000, 03:53 AM
Trish - A little more information would be helpful. Can you provide a more specific name for your plant? Let me dig around and see if I can come up with anything that will help you out.</p>
09-15-2000, 09:56 AM
Oops, the plant is actually spelled Malacothamnus, or Bush Mallow.
We have several species, but the one I'd most like to propogate is M. densiflorus bought from Rancho Santa Ana.
It was magnificent in its first two years, with arching branches covered in lilac flowers. Unfortunately, the main plant up and died during the summer, but left a dozen or so root 'children' growing up to 8 feet away!
We also have M. fasciculantus var. nesioticus from Theodore Payne, which is also spreading like crazy. I tried a root cutting but it died instantly.
I tried taking cuttings from M. abottii a pale, smaller leaved variety, but no luck.
Glenn Keator's book suggests root cuttings, cuttings or seed for propagation. I'm wondering if anyone has any success with any particular method.
09-17-2000, 02:10 PM
At Yerba Buena Nursery, we used to have Malacothamnus that spread by underground runners. As I recall, we used to dig up the new plants, roots, topgrowth and all. We did this in late fall to early spring, when the ground was damp but not soggy.
I can't recall that we did anything special to root cuttings of Malacothamnus. We used an 8/2 mixture of perlite/vermiculite, and a weak to medium-strength rooting hormone. You don't want to leave a lot of the large leaves on your cuttings, though, and keep the top growth from getting continually wet, which will rot the cuttings.
Maybe some other YBN alumnae will read this, and remember something that I have forgotten. Fall is a good time for cuttings. As soon as the rain comes and the weather cools off, try more cuttings and transplants!
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