How to Propagate a Golden Spirit Smoke Tree

Overview

The Golden Spirit Smoke Tree is a deciduous shrub known for its bright yellow leaves that appear throughout the summer. As the color starts to change in the fall, they turn to coral or orange. This shrub is hardy in USDA planting zones 5 through 8 and may grow as tall as 12 feet with a 10-foot spread. Beginning in June, white blooms appear and form long plumes of flowers. Pruning a Golden Spirit Smoke Tree will most likely eliminate its flowers. Propogate the tree by stem cuttings while the plant is dormant.

Step 1

Prepare the growing medium. Mix one part perlite with one part peat moss and filll a small flower pot with the mixture. Dampen the medium all the way through and allow it to dry out a little while taking and preparing your cutting.

Step 2

Cut a 4- to 6-inch piece of terminal stem from the upper part of the plant early in the morning. Take the cutting from a healthy stem of the previous year's growth. Take a stem with no to very few flower buds on it and remove all flower buds.

Step 3

Cut off the leaves on the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the stem. Cut the remaining leaves in half. Cut with sharp, sterilized pruning shears or a sharp razor-type knife, close to the stem.

Step 4

Dip the planting end into the rooting hormone and tap off any extra powder. Use a pencil to make a hole in the medium and place the cutting into the hole. Firm up the soil around the cutting.

Step 5

Place a plastic bag over the cutting and put the pot in indirect light. Check the medium every couple of days and dampen by misting the cutting and soil if it starts to dry out. Never leave the medium soggy or the cutting will rot before it roots. Use distilled water, as chemicals in tap water may damage the cutting.

Step 6

Give the cutting a gentle tug in about a month. If it resists, there are roots. Transplant the cutting into a larger pot filled potting mix and grow it until spring, or for at least another two months. Expose the rooted cutting to direct sun gradually until hardened to the amount of sun it will be planted in permanently. Golden Spirit Smoke Trees grow best in full sun to morning sun with partial afternoon shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterilized pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Small pot with drain holes
  • Pencil
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Large pot with drain holes
  • Potting soil

References

  • Washington State University: Golden Spirit Smoke Tree
  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
  • Washington State University: Propogating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees and Vines
Keywords: Golden Spirit Smoketree, propagating deciduous shrubs, propagating by cuttings

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.