The thuja plant belongs to the Cypress family. This exotic evergreen wonder can brighten up any garden, backyard or summer cottage, and can also be used to make a beautiful green corridor or hedge.
One of the most convenient and uncomplicated ways to propagate thuja is plant cuttings. This is a very convenient and effective method that perfectly preserves the varietal qualities of the arborvitae, and allows you to get a full-fledged tree in just 2-3 years. It is quite possible to grow a thuja from a sprig at home.
This is a symmetrical conical evergreen tree or shrub with fairly dense crown. The needles are scaly, dense and lying crosswise. All varieties of this plant have a characteristic aroma. Buds and flowers are either invisible or not formed at all.
How to grow thuja from a twig? It's not that hard. I can’t even believe that a full-fledged tree or bush can be obtained from a cutting. In height, an adult plant can reach 70 meters with a trunk diameter of up to 6 meters. Young plants have soft needles, while in adults they become scaly and crosswise opposite. Their cones are oval or oblong with scales in the amount of two to six pairs, of which the upper ones are sterile, and the rest bear 1–2 (sometimes 3) ovules. Flat seeds with two narrow wings ripen in the first year of life, in autumn.
Thuja is undemanding to growing conditions, perfectly tolerates smoky and dusty urban air, is frost-resistant and is widely used in landscape gardening. Usually thuja is grown in open ground.
Features of reproduction
How to grow a tree from a thuja branch? A more detailed story about this method of growing a plant is presented later in the article. In the meantime, consider some features of reproduction.
Due to its unpretentiousness and resistance to frost, this plant is often used for landscaping adjoining areas. But thujas are relatively expensive, so it is best and not so difficult to breed them yourself. Even novice gardeners can do this.
Two breeding methods:
- twigs and cuttings.
The first method is quite painstaking and long, it takes 6 years. In addition, it is generally accepted that grown from cuttingsplants are more hardy. It is also not advisable to propagate decorative varieties of thuja seeds. The best way to propagate is with branches.
How to grow thuja from a twig? At home, the reproduction of this plant for many gardeners is a common thing. For spring cuttings of thuja, you should choose the most beautiful branches of a young plant that has not yet had time to become stiff (no more than 3 years old). It is best to cut green half-meter cuttings with a small piece of tree bark at the end. The best time for such an event is the morning of a cloudy day. The selected cutting should be plucked with a sharp downward movement.
The tip of the plucked shoot with a "woody heel" is needed as a basis for new roots. If the bark exfoliates, it needs to be slightly leveled, cleaned with a knife. Otherwise, the cutting will either rot or dry out. Their lower part must also be freed from needles in order to avoid the formation of rot when in contact with sand.
Thinking about how to grow a thuja from a branch, it is important to remember one more condition: if the cutting is taken from the tops of the axial shoots of the plant, the tree will grow branched, and when it is cut from the side branches, the shrub will have a creeping shape.
The cuttings should be soaked in "Kornevin" for a day, and then planted in wooden boxes with coarse river sand. To ensure air intake, holes should be made at the bottom, and brick supports should be installed at the edges of the box.
The answer to the question of whether it is possible to grow a thuja from a branch is unambiguous. Of course you can. When is the best time to host this event? It is desirable to carry out cuttings in the spring, since it is at this time of the year that all processes occurring in wildlife are completed faster. And in the thuja (in its shoots) the movement of juices is activated, therefore the cut stalk will take the first roots much faster. Breeding usually takes place from late March to early April. If this period is skipped, cuttings can also be carried out in June.
There is some danger that branches planted for germination may fall under spring frosts. This can be avoided by installing a box with cuttings in a greenhouse with a film.
How to grow thuja from a sprig in summer? Summer cutting of cuttings occurs in the second wave of plant growth. During this period, sufficient watering of the substrate is important, where the formation of the roots of the branch takes place. All the time you need to monitor the frequency of watering and soil moisture. Seedlings can be severely affected by the summer heat. Therefore, the plant should be sprayed all the time with a spray gun (twice - in the morning and in the evening).
It should be noted that thuja can be propagated both in the substrate and in water. A plucked branch takes root almost the same way both in a glass of water and in the ground.
Sand must be pre-boiled for disinfection. To do this, it must be placed in an enameled bucket, poured with water and boiled for five minutes, and then cooled.it and drain the water.
Don't wait for it to dry. Add ½ cup of 3% potassium permanganate solution, and, after mixing, pour into boxes.
Planting cuttings and caring for them
How to quickly grow a thuja from a twig? To do this, all activities should be carried out in accordance with the following rules.
- Make holes at an angle of 45 degrees with a peg (the distance from one to the other is about 5 centimeters). The cuttings should be deepened by 2 centimeters, compacted and watered. Set the boxes in a shaded place.
- In case of frost, seedlings should be covered with polyethylene.
- For favorable rooting of cuttings, it is necessary to maintain a sufficiently high humidity (up to 70%) with a temperature of 18–23 °C. At higher temperatures, the film must be removed and the plant covered with damp gauze.
- Spray daily for two months (twice a day in hot weather).
- Regularly ventilate the greenhouse. When it is covered with a film, then water the soil, and if it is under gauze, spray it.
It should be noted about one more unusual, but beloved by professional gardeners way of growing thuja from cuttings. This is rooting in potatoes. Potato starch and juice help to quickly develop the root system.
Here we have come to an important point in answering the question, how to grow a thuja from a branch? In autumn, cuttings should be transplanted to a garden bed or other containers (for example, flowerpots) for further growth of overgrowth. A sprout should not be planted immediately in open ground. First you need a plantharden, for which the box must sometimes be taken out into the street to get used to the natural conditions of the environment.
Approximately 2 months after planting, the sprout finally takes root. A good sign is the appearance of buds on the handle.
How to plant a thuja from a branch in the ground? To do this, first of all, you should take care of the most convenient place for it and prepare the soil mixture. Before you start growing thuja, you need to think through all the features of the future existence of the plant. For him, you need to choose a place well warmed by the sun. The sun's rays should visit the plant's growing area in the first half of the day, and partial shade from neighboring vegetation should reign in the second half. The soil mixture should consist of sand, peat and soddy soil (the same proportions). Moreover, the soil mixture must be disinfected with potassium permanganate (3%).
It should be noted that the size of the rhizome of the cuttings is normally not small - 8–10 cm. After planting the seedlings in the ground, they should be covered with a film. For the winter, it is better to remove it, and instead of a greenhouse, cover the plant with needles or fallen leaves. These seedlings take 2-3 years to germinate and should be weeded and watered regularly.
Signs that the plant has taken root - the appearance of new young shoots. In the spring, the cuttings wake up, and the roots begin to grow actively. Therefore, after the end of spring frosts, seedlings should be transplanted to a permanent place by digging them along with the ground.
Featuresplanting a young plant
Before planting the plant in open ground, put a mixture of compost, manure and garden soil into the hole. The root system of the thuja should not be broken, and the root neck should be left above the ground.
After planting, the plant should be watered abundantly and put pine bark or sawdust on top, which will protect the root system of the plant. Mulch should not cover the lower branches of the arborvitae, as they can rot.
Care for young seedlings
How to grow thuja from a sprig? How to care for her?
Rules for caring for young seedlings:
- water ten liters of water once a week;
- to moisten branches and wash off dust deposits, spray them with clean water from a spray bottle;
- weed regularly;
- cover with fallen leaves or spruce branches for the winter period;
- clear from shelter in the spring and then take care of it as usual.
In the spring, cut dry branches with pruners and then periodically shape the plant (otherwise it will turn into a shapeless bush). A gorgeous tree can be a reward for all the effort that will be made during the growing period of the cutting.
In order to get real pleasure from the process of growing a plant from scratch and save money, it is best not to buy seedlings, but to reproduce the thuja yourself. Considering and following all recommendationsprofessional gardeners, it's very easy to do. Reproduction of thuja branches and cuttings is quite an interesting and fascinating process.