How to Plant Tulip Tree Twigs


If you are looking for a large tree, consider the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). The tulip tree can reach 100 feet in height with flowers that resemble a cross between the tulip and the magnolia flower. The tulip tree is seldom propagated successfully from cuttings. According to the Western North Carolina Nature Center there have been somewhat promising results using stump sprouts. They suggest, as well, that you take soft-wood cuttings from a tree that is at least seven years old. The tulip tree is hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 9.

Step 1

Take cuttings from the tulip tree. These should be 8 inches in length and from new growth. If you can find some near the soil, choose those.

Step 2

Remove all the leaves from the cuttings with the exception of two or three on the top.

Step 3

Pour equal parts of sand and perlite into the planting pots. Water the soil until it drains from the bottom of the pot. Water a second time, allowing it to drain.

Step 4

Pour a small amount (1/8 tsp. or less) of rooting hormone into a small dish and insert the cut end of the tulip tree twigs into it. Tap the twigs lightly on the side of the dish to remove any excess hormone. Dispose of the leftover hormone.

Step 5

Poke holes in the soil, with a pencil or your finger, and insert the hormone-tipped end of the twigs into the hole. Depending upon the size of pot you are using, you can root two or more twigs per pot.

Step 6

Pack the soil around the twigs and tamp down around the base of them to make sure they are in good contact with the soil.

Step 7

Mist the twigs with the misting bottle and place the pots in the plastic bags. Secure the bag loosely and place it in a shaded area that remains between 65 and 75 degrees Farenheit.

Step 8

Check the soil daily to make sure that it remains moist. If it appears to be drying out, mist it with the misting bottle.

Step 9

Transplant the twigs three weeks after they have new growth. Prior to placing them in their permanent locations take them outdoors for longer periods of time each day for a week.

Step 10

Choose a location that receives sun all day and away from any overhead power lines.

Step 11

Dig holes in the planting area the same depth and twice the width of the pots in which the tulip tree twigs were rooted. Place the twigs into the planting holes and cover with soil.

Step 12

Water the area well and allow it to drain, then water again.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Small dish
  • Planting pots
  • Coarse sand
  • Perlite
  • Plastic bag
  • Gardening trowel


  • Western North Carolina Nature Center: Tulip Tree
  • University of Florida: Liriodendron tulipifera

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Liriodendron tulipifera
Keywords: plant tulip tree twigs, propagate tulip trees, grow tulip trees from cuttings

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.