Combined hints of jasmine, rose and citrus wafting on the late-spring air signify only one thing: a nearby blue orange (Philadelphus x virginalis) shrub is in bloom. This old-fashioned garden stalwart aromas gardens throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8 using a fragrance worthy of bridal bouquets. Its clusters of cupped, yellow-stamened white blossoms open on slender, arching branches of deep-green leaves. The drought-tolerant shrub inquires only for a well-drained location with loads of sunlight, and annual pruning after it flowers to make sure ample future blooms. Mock orange propagates as readily as it blooms, from softwood cuttings taken in summer.
Prepare a rooting medium of 50 percent builder’s sand and 50 percent peat moss. Fill your rooting containers using the medium, firmed to 1 inch under their rims. The sand-and-peat blend absorbs and drains water fast.
Mix a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part household bleach. Dip a sharp knife or pruning shears into this disinfectant before utilizing them to take your mock orange cuttings.
Harvest the mock orange cuttings in the early morning, when their moisture content is at its peak. Take each cutting from an intact, healthful division, cutting just below a leaf node 4 to 5 inches from the tip. Each cutting should have at least two or even three different sets of leaves. Immediately place each cutting in a plastic bag to avoid dehydration.
Strip the tip foliage from each cutting. This tender growth is susceptible to scorching and decay. Removing it also builds increase hormone into the lower part of this cutting to get more vigorous rooting and promotes bushy fresh plants.
Insert a wooden let’s rod to one-half the length of every cutting into the containers of rooting medium to make your planting holes.
Pour a small amount of 1,000-ppm IBA (indolebutyric acid) rooting hormone talc to your clean saucer. Pinch the lowest set of leaves from a cutting together with your thumb and forefinger, and plunge the base of the cutting into the powder.
Insert the powdered cutting into one of the prepared holes till its lowest leaves are simply over the medium. Firm the medium quietly around its base for support. Repeat the entire procedure until all your cuttings are potted. Discard the used rooting hormone, and water the containers before the medium is moist throughout.
Insert four let’s sticks across the lip of every container, then slide the containers into clear plastic bags, and tie them shut so the plastic rests on the poles, not the cuttings. These makeshift greenhouses provide humid, rooting-conducive atmosphere.
Place the cuttings in bright light away from direct sunlight. Open the plastic bags for five minutes every other day to get ventilation. Check for new development, a indication that rooting has happened, after four weeks. When the plants appear to be growing well, gently lift them from the rooting pots for transplanting to separate 3 1/2-inch containers of potting soil.