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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - March 04, 2011

From: Gainesville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Rooting hybrid Savannah Holly from cuttings from Gainesville FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need instructions on rooting the Savannah Holly from cuttings. I understand that seedlings will not be true to the parent..is this true? Please help. What type of soil mix should I use?

ANSWER:

That is correct. A hybridized plant will ordinarily not breed true from seeds. However, when you grow new plants from cuttings, they will be clones, i.e., identical to the parent plant. This is how most nursery stock, especially woody stock, is usually propagated.

This article from the University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah' has lots of good information about the culture of this plant. Since it is a hybrid (the "x" in the middle is a giveaway) we will not have it in our Native Plant Database. It is a hybrid between Ilex cassine (Dahoon) and Ilex opaca (American holly), both of which are native to North America and in our database.

Now, on to specifics. This article from North Carolina State University Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener has much better instructions than we can give you. We noted from this article that cuttings from hollies are best taken in the semi-hardwood state. An excerpt from that article:

"Semi-hardwood cuttings are usually prepared from partially mature wood of the current season’s growth, just after a flush of growth. This type of cutting normally is made from mid-July to early fall. The wood is reasonably firm and the leaves of mature size. Many broadleaf evergreen shrubs and some conifers are propagated by this method."

Pictures of Savannah holly from Google:

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex opaca


Ilex opaca

 

 

 

 

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