How to Propagate a Tulip Poplar
Tulip poplars, members of the magnolia family, are large shade-giving trees. In spring they produce an abundance of green pods that open into yellow and orange flowers from April until June. The pale gray of the tulip poplar’s bark contrasts with its striking dark green leaves, making this tree an exceptional addition to landscaping. Propagating these trees is a simple process when done from cuttings, the most recommended method for tulip poplars.
Things You’ll Need
- Pruning shears
- Rooting hormone
- Potting soil
- Pot or container
Propagating Tulip Poplars
- Take a cutting from the tulip poplar. The tulip poplar is a tree that roots best from a soft wood cutting. This means taking a shoot of last season’s growth. The shoot should be easily snapped when bent and should have a set of mature leaves and some new immature leaves. Soft wood cuttings are available most typically during May through July. Choose a shoot that does not have a flower, as flower production is an energy drain for the shoot. Using pruning shears, remove the cutting and store wrapped in moist paper towels in a cool location until you are ready to treat and plant. Remove the cutting as closely to the parent branch as possible.
- Prepare the cuttings for planting. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Treat the cut end of the cutting with rooting hormone, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Prepare the container and plant the cutting. Fill a container or deep flower pot with nutrient-rich potting soil. Insert the cutting and mist the top of the soil lightly. Place the container in a sunny, warm location.
- Maintain the cuttings and check them frequently. Mist the cuttings often, and water them lightly while you wait for them to root. If you notice any cuttings withering or failing, remove them from the area to avoid introducing disease.