Question My ancient cypress sempivirens is producing lots of seeds. If I collect them in muslin bags tied to the branches at this time,(late October)please advise me how to propagate them and roughly what time scale before I can transplant the resulting seedlings to open ground. I need advice on growing media, temperature and humidity. I would also appreciate advice on taking cuttings, especially whether the time scale to planting out would be shorter. The climate here at my home in central Italy ranges from mid 90's F in summer to low 20's F in mid winter. I'd appreciate your advice.
Answer Hi Ron,
Thanx for your question. Here's a link I gave to another questioner last year regarding propagation of Cupressus sempervirens. Now would be a good time vernalizing the seed (stratifying) as it helps increase germination rates. At least three weeks are required in sub 40ºF temperatures. Plant the seed in seed beds covering with about 1/2 inch of soil. Be sure to lightly water if long periods of drought. It takes a couple months for seeds to germinate. Gently, prick out seedlings when they are large enough to handle (in the Spring) and move to desired locations in full sun. Take cuttings now, about 6 inches long, strip off about 1/2 of the needles, dip in rooting hormone, stick in wet sand about 1 inch and enclose your growing container in clear plastic if growing indoors. Or you can leave the cuttings in a protected greenhouse that does not freeze. Keep sand moist. Root growth will take several months. If growing cuttings under lights indoors, keep bottom of growing container warm and mist the cutting three times a day. Placing clear plastic around the growing medium will kepp humidity up and benefit cuttings. I hope this helps.
I have been growing plants from seeds for at least 20 years. I have grown literally hundreds of different kinds of vegetables, trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, tropicals, some cacti, water plants, iris, rose, lilies, cannas, etc. I enjoy starting from seed.
I've been growing my own seeds for 20 years with indoor propagation equipment I built myself. I am also an Allexperts volunteer on the perennial forum. I have completed the Master Gardener course through the Kansas State University Extension. I have experience with a wide variety of seeds and I have also read through Norm Deno's books on seed germination.