June 23: Learn How to Start Your Own New Plants from Cuttings


WOOSTER, Ohio — Paul Snyder, program assistant in Wooster’s Secrest Arboretum, has grown a garden’s worth of new plants from cuttings.

He’s grown Japanese orixa, which turns white in fall and, he said, “smells like Old Spice.”

He’s grown more than a few Mediterranean redbuds, which, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map, are barely tough enough to survive in the region in the first place.

“We used to have only one” in the 115-acre arboretum, Snyder said. “Now we have others planted throughout the collections.”

He’s grown common figs, which are “fun and easy to root.” The challenge, he said, is “getting them through their first winter once they’ve rooted.”

He wants to help you do this, too.

Workshop in Secrest Arboretum

On June 23, Snyder will teach a workshop on propagating new plants from cuttings. It’s from 9 a.m. to noon in the arboretum’s nursery. Registration is $10 for members of the Friends of Secrest Arboretum and $15 for nonmembers. Details and a link to register are at go.osu.edu/PlantProp.

Participants in the workshop will learn how to take soft wood and semi-hard wood cuttings from woody plants. They’ll practice using mock orange, hydrangea, Chinese leptodermis, and possibly sage and fig. The principles gained also can be used on annuals and perennials.

Inexpensive way to add plants

“It’s a good skill to learn because you can easily and inexpensively increase the number of plants in your yard,” Snyder said.

But it takes practice.

“When I first started doing woody plant cuttings, I tried willow and shrub dogwood, the easiest plants to root because they don’t require any rooting compound,” he said.

“I killed them.”

1 hour south of Cleveland

The arboretum, where most of its plants are more fortunate, is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster. It’s about 45 minutes southwest of Akron, 60 minutes south of Cleveland and 90 minutes north of Columbus.

OARDC in turn is part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Learn more about the arboretum on its website, secrest.osu.edu, which lists other events, too.

CFAES News Team
For more information, contact: 

Paul Snyder