How to Propagate Junipers

Overview

Adding more juniper bushes to your garden or landscape doesn't necessarily require a trip to the local nursery. Junipers can be propagated by strategically taking cuttings from an existing juniper (the parent plant) and then rooting and planting that cutting, which will develop into a new juniper plant.

Step 1

Fill a clean pot with a mixture of equal parts sand and peat moss--the rooting mixture.

Step 2

Heat the filled pot for 30 minutes at 140 degrees F in the oven to kill any organisms that could harm the cuttings. Insert a clean thermometer in the center of the rooting mixture to check the temperature. Allow the soil to cool to room temperature.

Step 3

Cut a 4-to-10 inch stem from the parent juniper. Choose a stem that is less than a year old, and either a long side branch or main shoot.

Step 4

Cut vertically down each side to the base of the cutting, making 1-to-2 inch cuts. Use a clean knife.

Step 5

Slice away the bark on one or both sides of the cutting, at the base, making 1-to-2 inch vertical cuttings with a clean, sharp knife. Expose one or two layers cells between the wood and bark. Do not cut too deeply into the stem.

Step 6

Sprinkle auxin compound on waxed paper. Dip the cut ends in the compound and discard the remaining compound.

Step 7

Make an indentation in the rooting mixture that's large enough for the stem--about 1 ½ to 2 inches deep. Insert the cutting into the indentation and firm up soil around the cutting without rubbing off the auxin compound.

Step 8

Water the pot so that the soil settles around the cuttings.

Step 9

Cover the container with a glass container or plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Keep the container in indirect light, at temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees F.

Step 10

Inspect the cuttings daily and keep them moist by applying water to the tips using a syringe. The cuttings are rooted when they anchor themselves to the mixture and will resist a slight tug. This might take up to three months.

Step 11

Transplant the cuttings into 4-inch pots filled with potting soil when they have several roots that are 1 inch long. Water the soil and keep it misted. Allow the cuttings to acclimate before exposing them to direct sun or extreme conditions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use a plastic pot for step 1 as it could melt when heating. Use a pot that will withstand heating in the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot or container (5-inches deep)
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Thermometer
  • Garden shears
  • Knife
  • Auxin compound
  • Wax paper
  • Greenhouse cover
  • Syringe
  • 4-inch pot
  • Potting soil

References

  • NDSU Extension Service: Questions on Juniper
  • Washington State University: Propagating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees and Vines with Stem Cuttings
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
Keywords: juniper cuttings, rooting juniper, propagate junipers

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.