Grow and Propagate Conifers.

Confiers in border
Border display with conifers
Conifers for sale online in the UK.
Conifers make excellent evergreen hedges and border displays. Some varieties grow so fast that they can get out of hand very quickly, so check what variety you are buying first; whether you want a fast or slow growing one, or a large or small variety. Slow growing conifers, as shown in the above photograph, are good in a border dislay providing a background of colour through out the year. The best time to buy and plant out new conifers is during the winter and early spring (November to March).
There are many different types of conifers of various sizes. Good specimens can be expensive but are easy to propagate. The most popular varities are:-

Propagating conifers
Your favourite garden conifers can be propagated by cuttings during the summer months. Good specimens can be expensive but are easy to propagate. Some varieties grow so fast that they can get out of hand very quickly, so if buying check what variety you are buying first; whether you want a fast or slow growing one, or a large or small variety.

Confers are propagated from cuttings taken from semi-ripe shoots formed from the current season's growth. The semi-ripe shoots are where the shoot is woody at the base but soft at the tip.


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1. Select sideshoot from

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2. Remove sideshoot
with heel.

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3. Remove lower leaves.


Step 1. Select sideshoot from branch
Cuttings are best taken from sideshoots on a healthy side branch growing about half way up the tree. Select young healthy side branches ideally up to six years of age. The sideshoots should be 5-13 cm (2-5 in.) long, in good condition and look like the parent tree.

Step 2. Remove sideshoot with heel
The heel is a small section of wood from the main branch. Grasp the stem near the base of the sideshoot and pull it sharply downwards, away from the main branch, tearing off a piece of bark.

Step 3. Remove lower leaves
Completely remove all the leaves from the lower half of the sideshoot. This will help give the cutting a good root system .

dip lower half of conifer side shoot into rooting powder
4. Dip lower half of stem
in rooting powder.

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5. Make hole for cutting.

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6. Cover cuttings to     
retain moisture.


Step 4. Dip heel in rooting powder
It is then a good idea to wet the lower half of the cutting with water and dip it into hormone rooting powder. The powder will readily stick to the stem, and this will encourage the formation of good strong roots.

Step 5. Plant the cutting
  In pots in the cold frame and greenhouse
The cuttings can be inserted in a pot or a propagating tray containing John Innes No.1 potting compost, or alternatively a mixture of peat and sharp sand. Use a suitable pointed implement, such as a pencil or the lid of the rooting powder container, as a dibber to make the hole for the cutting.
Outdoors the cuttings can be planted in specially prepared beds in a shady, sheltered position. Here it is a good idea to plant the cuttings in "V" shaped rows. The ordinary garden soil should be removed and replaced with a mixture of equal parts peat and sharp sand. The mixture will give the cuttings a good foundation in which to start their roots.

Step 6. Cover the cuttings
Cover the cuttings, indoors with a propagating dome or polythene bag supported with sticks, and outdoors with a cloche. Success in propagating conifers will be assured if the cuttings are prevented from drying out. The cuttings should not be exposed to hot sun during the summer and kept moist at all times. However they will still require a certain amount of heat to root quickly. A west or east facing position will provide shade for most of the day and yet still receive plenty of warmth.
If the cuttings are indoors, a heated propagator can be used to hasten rooting. If you want to make sure your cuttings have sufficient moisture, spray them with water twice a day during hot weather.


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7. Carefully remove    
rooted cutting.        

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8. Pot up into individual

9. Firm in the young
conifer in its new pot.


Step 7. Carefully remove rooted cutting.
If the cuttings were taken in the early part of the summer, then by autumn they should be showing signs of fresh growth in the form of lighter coloured tips. They should have good roots and can now be potted up.

Step 8. Pot up into individual pots.
Indoor cuttings that have rooted well can be potted up into 7 - 10 cm (3½ - 4 in.) pots. A very tiny amount of bonemeal can be mixed into the compost at this stage to provide food to encourage the young plants to form a good rooting system.

Step 9. Firm in the new conifer.
Firm the young conifer in its new pot with your fingers. The pots containing the cuttings can now be buried in the ground in a sheltered position or plunged in a cold frame.

Step 10. Planting outdoors and in their final positions.
When the roots have filled the pots, the plants can be set out 30 cm (12 in) apart in rows. Similarly, those cuttings made outdoors, when they have become crowded in their rooting positions, can be set out in fresh rows further apart.
Incorporate plenty of peat and mix a handful (about 56 gms, (2 oz)) of bonemeal for each plant into the soil. The plants can then be grown on happily until they are large enough to be set out in their final positions.
Transplant only in the winter period, taking care that the plants are watered in well. Only buy and plant new conifers during the winter and early spring. Any later and they may dry up during the summer months as the plants roots may not be able to find sufficient water quickly enough during the hot spells.
gardening book for sale on growing conifers Growing Conifers by Adrian Bloom. If you have seen and enjoyed visiting Adrian's fantastic gardens and nurseries in Norfolk in the UK, as I have, you will know he is an expert on growing conifers and you can easily benefit from his decades of experience. The book describes how to choose the best conifers, along with their size, rate of growth and type of soil prefered. The books includes propagation, planting, care, pruning, pests and diseases. A comprehensive guide illustrated with excellent colour photographs. Buy the book on Amazon, click   and see other books on growing conifers  or   here.


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