Propagation Methods

Most commercially produced lilacs are propagated from micropropagation, however they can also be propagated through seeds or grafting techniques, as well as by cuttings. Propagation by seed is usually paired with grafting, as well as rootstock production. Seeds require outdoor stratification, or can be stratified indoors for 40-60 days at around 4 degrees Celsius. A problem posed by seeds is that they will not yield true cultivars. Commercially, propagation by grafting is uncommon since it is expensive, tedious (because of rootstock suckering), and hit-or-miss in regard to growth renewal (Hartmann and Kester). Cuttings can be used to propagate S. vulgaris, however it can be difficult (Smith). The timeframe that the cutting is taken is critical, where it should be collected in the early spring after a rush of fresh shoot growth. Its succulent leaves make wilting a common problem, however the timeframe for success can be widened with a good misting/fogging system to avoid excessive water loss from evaporation within the plant. Subjecting the mother plant to etioliation has also shown to increase the timeframe for successful rooting (Fordham). Commercial propagators can efficiently utilize micropropagation methods, as well as some cutting methods, however due to lack of proper equipment a home grower should stick to propagation by cuttings, grafting or seed. Cuttings may be difficult for the home propagator as well since proper IBA application is necessary.

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