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My Mother has a Calycanthus bush that's about 50 years old and originally belonged to my Grandparants. I would like to propagate plants from the mother plant so that I can give my cousins a plant in rememberance of my Grandparents. I have tried putting root hormone on each leaf stem and placed them in a container of vermiculite and covered the pot with a plastic bag but the leaves just seem to rot. What is the best way to propagate new plants for this type of bush?
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Sorry to take so long to answer. Calycanthus is difficult to propagate through cuttings. You need to take semi-hardwood cuttings from the stem in June-July; leaves will not work. However, the success of propagating these through cuttings is not great. The easiest way to propagate these shrubs is to sever one of the suckers that has popped up at the edge of the plant from the main shrub with a sharp spade. Dig it up carefully (they must have roots attached) and transplant it to a new location. The best time to do this is in the early spring (February 15 - March 15).