Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > General Gardening Boards > North American Native Plants > North American Native Plant Propagation and Winter Sowing

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-06-2009, 12:09 AM   #1
Fox
 
MaggyNoLia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Default Propagation: Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush)

Where would I locate the seeds on this plant? Can it be grown from cuttings?
MaggyNoLia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
Slapping, Swearing, Itching, Scratching Mosquito Bait
 
swamp thing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: pennsylvania,usa
Default

This is a very easy one to root from softwood cuttings in summer. One here is maybe four feet high and bloomed in its second summer in the ground, another is shorter and didn't bloom, but it's in a shadier spot.

The seeds are tiny and don't need any stratification (according to Dirr's book), but my attempt at sowing them in winter didn't work. Dirr's book says that they can be propagated by root cuttings in winter. Here's a description of root cuttings:
Plant Propagation by Leaf, Cane, and Root Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener

Some plants will have a propagation protocol listed all the way at the bottom of the species' page at the USDA Plants database; this plant has one, but it doesn't agree about the need for stratification. Also, it's a good place (sometimes) to find pictures of seeds:
PLANTS Profile for Clethra alnifolia (coastal sweetpepperbush) | USDA PLANTS
swamp thing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 09:50 AM   #3
Fox
 
MaggyNoLia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Default

Thank you swamp thing for your response. For the time being I'm looking at either soft wood cuttings or seeds. I don't want to mess around with roots until I can start growing my own and can kill one of those instead if I mess up. I say this because I am assuming that I could do more damage to a plant messing with its roots than I could going with soft wood cuttings or seeds.

I've seen the pictures of seeds for the various plants on the USDA native plant database, but what they don't do well in my opinion is tell someone how to get them, where they are located on a plant. Some may tell you when to propagate them, but others don't. I do see that for this particular plant they have a Plant Guide and while it says it can be propagated by seed it doesn't tell me how to get that seed. It does however provide me with details for cuttings which to be honest I'd rather only do if I have to. I only have 4 clethra's. This greenhorn doesn't want to kill even one of those four.
MaggyNoLia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
Slapping, Swearing, Itching, Scratching Mosquito Bait
 
swamp thing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: pennsylvania,usa
Default

Seeds will be where the flower was - some plants don't form an obvious fruit or berry, and the seeds will be a part of the dried flower. Some are tiny and tricky to identify, and I'm sure lots of people give up and just crumble the entire dried flower into the soil they want to grow the seeds in.

Here's a Clethra flower spike, hopefully on its way to forming seeds. Soon they will be brown and the seeds will be in the tiny round capsules. This is one plant I wouldn't be too concerned about separating the seed from the chaff, because they're so small.
Attached Thumbnails
Propagation: Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush)-dsc04679.jpg  
swamp thing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #5
Fox
 
MaggyNoLia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Default

Ooo, thanks for the picture. That helps.

So, I went out back and noticed this about the spike...The spike sits on a greenish section of stem that leads down into one of the brown barky branches. At what spot would you cut off the spike? In the fleshy green part of the stem or down into the brown somewhere. Also, now that I know where exactly and what it looks like, when is the right time to grab the seed. Right now my spikes look like this

Propagation: Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush)-img_9721.jpgPropagation: Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet or Sweet Pepper Bush)-img_9722.jpg

You said that soon the seeds will be brown. Should I wait until they are brown to gather them?
MaggyNoLia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
Slapping, Swearing, Itching, Scratching Mosquito Bait
 
swamp thing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: pennsylvania,usa
Default

I would wait, they don't look ready to me - but then again, I wasn't able to grow these from seed the time I tried...
swamp thing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009, 05:31 PM   #7
WG Facilitator
 
biigblueyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA
Default

Hey, Maggynolia - your seed pods are looking great. You see were you have fat little round things? Your seeds are forming in there, just like seeds in tiny little apples.
__________________
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
biigblueyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
Fox
 
MaggyNoLia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Default

Biigblueyes and swamp thing thank you for the help you've given me.

I have another question to ask about spacing for the seeds. I'd be using a one gallon milk jug. How many seeds and how far apart should they be in the jug?
MaggyNoLia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2009, 07:47 AM   #9
Lungwort
 
THBFarm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: central Massachusetts
Default

I've had great success growing Clethra altinifolia from seed. Sounds like you are planning to winter sow them? I would just sprinkle the seeds in the container, don't worry too much about spacing unless you have a limited number of seeds. Good luck!
Ellen
THBFarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2009, 12:43 AM   #10
Fox
 
MaggyNoLia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by THBFarm View Post
Sounds like you are planning to winter sow them?
Ellen
I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for the info and well wishes.
MaggyNoLia is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alnifolia, bush, clethra, pepper, propagation, summersweet, sweet

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2