Thursday, April 15, 2010

Botany question: Magnolia and Hostas

So we'd like to take a cutting of our awesome 45 year magnolia tree with us to our new house. Is that possible? And if so how?

Similar question on the hostas - how can I transplant some of them without destroying the whole "plant". We have rather large hostas which seem to be an heirloom variety or at least they look different than any ones I've seen for sale.

Also, with the house situation it looks like we might might be getting into our new place for my birthday! Which would be AWESOME as I have movers scheduled for the day after. It's been a bit of a fiasco - I'll fill in the details once I'm sure that this is all really happening. We've been renting our former house since the 2nd which is odd. But the new one (new to us, it's almost 100 years old) may be ours in about a week. :-)


Irene said...

The magnolia tree is a tricky one - from what I've read, it's not easy to propagate most trees from cuttings. But you could try something like this: trim a few twigs (probably 6-8 inches long), strip off the lower leaves, and peel off the bark of the bottom half inch or so. Dip it in a rooting hormone powder (you can find it at any garden center). Stick it in a small pot filled with sand or a blend of sand and peat, and keep it moist. Put a clear plastic bag over it to hold humidity in, and put it someplace where it will get some light, but no direct sun.

The hostas are easier, and this one I have some experience with - Vlad's mom gave me some of her hostas last year, and they seem to be doing fine. Probably the easiest way to do it if you want to take maybe half of a clump and leave the rest, is to dig out the whole clump (make sure to dig out about 6 inches of the root system), split the clump in pieces, and then put some of the new mini-clumps back in the ground. Put the ones you want to keep in pots (or any old container that will protect the roots from drying out or getting squished during the move), and move them to their new home. Put them in a shady or semi-shady spot, most hostas don't want to be in full sun.

Irene said...

Oh, and good luck with all the moving chaos! It's a pain, but at the same time it's pretty exciting to have a new house!

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Beth, to my knowledge, Irene is right on. Hostas are easy, dig up, divide and re-plant. Magnolias are not easy.

Anyway, wishing you all the best with the moving craziness!