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Monday - August 09, 2010

From: Leakey, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagating agarita from berries in Leakey TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to pick the berries off my agarita and plant them in other areas. When can I plant the seeds and do I need to prepare or dry them first? What is best way to plant in ground? thanks

ANSWER:

Apparently, just berries dropping off bushes or berries being processed through a bird's digestive system are the best ways to use seeds. Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) also is very easy to propagate by cuttings. We found an article from Plants for a Future on Mahonia trifoliata which has these instructions for propagation, including planting from berries:

"Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in the spring. 'Green' seed (harvested when the embryo has fully developed but before the seed case has dried) should be sown as soon as it is harvested and germinates within 6 weeks. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in late winter or spring. 3 weeks cold stratification will improve its germination, which should take place in 3 - 6 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their next winter. Division of suckers in spring. While they can be placed direct into their permanent positions, better results are achieved if they are potted up and placed in a frame until established. Leaf cuttings in the autumn."

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