Issue: June 1, 2002

Propagating silverlace vine and honeysuckle

Question:

Could you please help me find some information on propagating vines, especially silverlace and honeysuckle. I'm trying for some shade. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you. -Carmen W.

Answer:

The silverlace vine is supposed to be very easy to propagate by seeds, cutting, and division. The honeysuckle vine is a little more difficult. Both may be propagated by layering.

Layering is the process where you bend the vine to the ground, slightly wound the stem by scratching one side with a knife (or even a fingernail). Apply some rooting hormone powder to the wounded area, then bury the wounded portion of the still-attached vine in the ground. Make a hole where you will bury the portion of the vine, and fill it with potting soil. Keep it moist and covered with mulch (a large rock will help hold the vine down at that point and serve as some mulch as well). After a few months, roots should have formed and the new plant may be cut from the parent and transplanted.

You may also propagate the silverlace vine by stem cuttings, treating them with rooting hormone, and putting them in pots or in the garden in an area kept moist. If you use pots, you can put them in a cold frame or plastic bag to keep humidity higher. If you are using a cold frame or plastic bag, keep them out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating. The silverlace vine may also be propagated in the early spring by dividing the clump in the same manner that you would divide shasta daisies.

Dog marking new tree

Question:

I am hoping you could help us with a question we have about our newly planted Chinese Elm Tree. Our tree does not seem to be growing. All of the neighbors dogs have designated our tree as the spot to "mark" their territory. Do you think this could have anything to do with our tree dying? Is there anything we can do to save it?

Answer:

It is possible that the dogs are doing some damage. A handful of gypsum sprinkled around the base of the tree may help neutralize any salts still present. A small fence around the tree to keep the dogs at a distance (1 to 2 feet) will help. You might also give them another place to "mark" (a dead stick placed into the ground).

Water well to dilute the urine and then subsequently water to keep the soil slightly moist. Because of the limited root system, the newly planted tree will usually be slower growing than other trees. Transplanting often damages some roots, and a transplanted tree has a much-reduced root system. The limited root system is not able to supply sufficient water to the tree. This will be especially true for those of us suffering from drought (less precipitation than the usual too little). The water will be critical to getting the tree growing, so extra care is needed to see that the tree receives sufficient moisture for the first couple of years.

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Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden, Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at desertblooms@nmsu.edu or at https://www.facebook.com/DesertBloomsNM/. Please include your county Extension Agent (aces.nmsu.edu/county) and your county of residence with your question!

For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page: desertblooms@nmsu.edu.

Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Horticulture Specialist, in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, office: 505-865-7340, ext. 113.