There is strong consumer interest in native plants for landscaping [Garden Writers Association Survey (2010), 2011]. Landscape architects and master gardeners would like to use more native plants but have found that a broad palette of native plants is not readily available from growers (Brzuszek et al., 2007, 2010). Although some native plants are produced in large quantities by the nursery industry and are widely used in landscaping, growers must expand their product lines by adding new species to capitalize on the native plant market.
Four ornamental and adaptable northeastern U.S. native shrub species that are relatively unknown in the horticultural trade are Ceanothus americanus (L.), Corylus cornuta (Marsh.), Lonicera canadensis (Bartr.), and Viburnum acerifolium (L.). These native shrubs have the potential to become revenue-generating crops for the nursery industry if successful propagation protocols are developed. For example, Amelanchier laevis (alleghany serviceberry) is currently a popular native ornamental for landscaping, but this species was less well known in the early 1990s (M. Brand, personal communication). Production of this plant by the nursery industry was facilitated by development of reliable propagation protocols by Still and Zanon (1991).
Vegetative propagation is often desired over sexual propagation for commercial nursery production because it generates more uniform plants (Hartmann et al., 2002), which are useful to a wider range of landscape applications. Deciduous shrubs, like the four native species identified, are generally propagated using softwood stem cuttings taken sometime during spring to summer. However, research has shown that for some species, softwood cutting success is improved when cuttings are taken at more specific times within this broad seasonal range (Dehgan et al., 1989; Dirr and Heuser, 1987; Pijut and Moore, 2002; Schrader and Graves, 2000). Therefore, this study evaluated whether cutting timing impacts propagation success of the four identified native shrubs. In addition, the impacts of increasing concentration of rooting hormone and transplanting timing of rooted cuttings were evaluated.
Brzuszek, R.F., Harkess, R.L. & Kelly, L. 2010 Survey of master gardener use of native plants in the southeastern United States HortTechnology 20 462 466
Brzuszek, R.F., Harkess, R.L. & Mulley, S.J. 2007 Landscape architects’ use of native plants in the southeastern United States HortTechnology 17 78 81
Dehgan, B., Gooch, M., Almira, F. & Kane, M. 1989 Vegetative propagation of Florida native plants: III. Shrubs Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 102 254 260
Dirr, M.A. & Heuser, C.W. 1987 The reference manual of woody plant propagation. Varsity Press, Athens, GA
Hartmann, H.T., Kester, D.E., Davies, F.T. Jr & Geneve, R.L. 2002 Plant propagation: Principles and practices. 7th Ed. Pearson Education Ltd., Upper Saddle River, NJ
Pijut, P.M. & Moore, M.J. 2002 Early season softwood cuttings effective for vegetative propagation of Juglans cinerea HortScience 37 697 700
Sharma, J. & Graves, W.R. 2005 Propagation of Rhamnus alnifolia and Rhamnus lanceolata by seeds and cuttings J. Environ. Hort. 23 86 90
Smalley, T.J. & Dirr, M.A. 1987 Effect of cutting size on rooting and subsequent growth of Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’ cuttings J. Environ. Hort. 5 122 124
Still, S.M. & Zanon, S. 1991 Effects of K-IBA rates and timing on rooting percentage and root quality of Amelanchier laevis J. Environ. Hort. 9 86 88