The mulberry tree is a deciduous tree variety that is native to China that was brought to the United States for silkworm production. The Mulberry tree grows to a height of 30 to 80 feet depending on the variety. It is drought tolerant and grows well in poor soil. The white mulberry tree is easy to propagate through softwood cuttings taken during late spring to early summer. Red and black mulberry tree stem cuttings do not root as easily as the white variety.
Cut with a sharp knife a stem section of 4 to 6 inches from a 1-year-old plant growth. Remove all leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the cutting. Cut to remove the top half of large leaves remaining on the cutting. This will reduce water loss during rooting.
Add water to a sterile rooting medium to moisten it. Fill a rooting tray with the moistened medium.
Pour a small amount of rooting hormone into a dish and dip the lower cut end of the stem into the hormone. This will prevent contaminating the container of rooting hormone. Gently tap the cutting to remove excess hormone. Stick the cutting into the rooting medium at a depth of 1/3 the length of the cutting.
Water the rooting medium and cuttings immediately after planting. Cover the rooting tray with clear plastic and place it in a warm location that has indirect sunlight.
Monitor the soil moisture to make sure the cuttings and medium do not dry out. Spray the container with water as needed.
Gently pull on the stem cutting after two to four weeks to check for resistance from root growth. Mulberry plants are slow growing and may take several months to establish root growth.
Transplant stem cuttings to single growing containers once the roots have become established. Continue to grow the cuttings in a container for the first growing season to make sure the plant is strong enough to grow in a landscape environment.
Things You Will Need
- Sharp knife
- Sterile course sand
- Sterile peat moss
- Rooting tray
- Rooting hormone
- Small dish
- Clear plastic covering
- Water mister
- 4- to 6-inch planting container
- Purchase a sterile rooting medium or make your own by mixing equal parts of sterile course sand, sterile peat moss and perlite.
- Use a clear plastic bag as a covering if the rooting tray did not come with a cover.
- Disinfect all cutting tools with a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach to prevent transmitting disease to the plant. Let the tools dry fully before use.
- Take cuttings in early morning as the plant is hydrated and the temperatures are cooler to prevent dehydration.
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