In Asheville and Western North Carolina, we have one of the most versatile growing areas you could ask for.  You can grow almost anything here.  Technically most of us fall into zone 6 or 7 depending on how high you are up the mountains, but since the temperatures rarely dip into single digits, with a good mulch many plants rated to zone 8 have no trouble popping up again in the spring.

While we can grow almost anything, we have our share of challenges.  The tradeoff for our perfect weather and mild winters is that we don’t get a good hard freeze and insulating snowfall, which helps keep disease in check in places like the Northeast or Midwest.

It’s hard on plants to cycle between freeze and thaw so often, which can cause problems like rot or premature growth that then damages the plant with a late freeze.  That is why I recommend either later blooming plant varieties or rebloomers like the newer varieties of hydrangeas that bloom on both new and old wood.

Aside from the weather, we have two primary growing challenges in Asheville:  Heavy clay soil and deer grazing.  Interestingly, it’s the deerzes we hear about most often when people stop by the nursery.  Heavy clay can be reasonably dealt with at planting time, but nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a prized shrub suddenly decimated by deer.

Here are five of the easiest flowering plants to grow in Asheville, NC.  These tick all three boxes:  They are deer resistant, tolerant of heavy clay, and not too bothered by late spring frost.

  1. Diervilla (Bush Honeysuckle)  This might be the only one on the list that you haven’t heard of.  Or perhaps the word honeysuckle makes you scream in horror.  I don’t blame you.  Diervilla is related to the honeysuckle you can’t seem to get rid of around your barn, but has a bush habit, isn’t invasive, and is just as easy to grow.  Newer varieties are incredibly versatile plants that have three seasons of interest, long summer bloom times, and attract hummingbirds.  Check out the Kodiak series from Proven Winners.  It’s native too!
  2. Twig Dogwood  Twig dogwoods are excellent filler-type shrubs that have that rare quality of having an interest in all four seasons.  They are fast-growing, take well to either sun or shade, and look great massed in the winter.  Newer varieties are more compact, but it’s no sweat to give them a haircut in the spring, and the branches make a nice display in a vase.  Or try your hand at rooting some cuttings, they are super easy.
  3. Flowering Quince  One of my personal favorite early spring bloomers.  These bloom right around the same time as forsythia but aren’t so wild and obnoxious.  The tradeoff is that the old-fashioned varieties have thorns, but that also helps keep the deer away.  Quince is a hardy suckering shrub and does great on slopes in full sun to part shade.  The fruit won’t win any awards but can be made into jam or pie if you’re hard up.
  4. Carolina Allspice  Another one of my favorites, this one a native.  Carolina allspice is a versatile plant with strangely fragrant blooms if you are up close, and almost tropical-looking foliage.  Blooms are a beautiful dark red and start in late spring and summer.  Check out ‘Aphrodite’, a larger variety that reblooms all summer long.  Allspice is a fantastic plant in full sun or part shade.
  5. Miss Kim Lilac  Lilacs in general grow very well in Western North Carolina, but Miss Kim is one of our favorites for lots of fragrant spring blooms and a nice compact habit.  There are TONS of different lilacs to explore if you get to be a connoisseur.  Check out Bloomerang for a reblooming variety, Pilabin for an even smaller plant, or Betsy Ross if you are looking for a larger, white blooming variety.  Lilacs like full sun to do their best, and a neutral, well-draining soil.  Once established and mulched, they are about as trouble-free as you could ask for.
  6. Weigela  Most people think of grandmas gangly old weigela florida they grew up with that burst at the seams with blooms in spring and looked like hell the rest of the year.  There are tons of newer varieties now that have everything from purple leaves to multiple different bloom times and a compact habit.  These are fun, trouble-free plants that still can’t be beat for flower power.  Grandma’s usually right when it comes to flowers.  Check out Wine and Roses, Sonic Bloom series, or Red Prince.


If you are looking for the easiest plants to grow in Asheville and Western North Carolina, look for plants that bloom later in the spring (or rebloom), are deer resistant, and tolerate heavy clay.  Start with the plants above, or look for natives, which tend to naturally do better for us in these hills.  Just don’t forget to mulch!

Hellebore or Lenten Rose

Most of us think of evergreens when we think of plants that give us landscape interest in the winter months.  Evergreens are great for adding definition and structure to your landscape, but it’s fun to add some flare, and these plants will give you some of that at a time of year when you need it most.

  1. Hellebores, or Lenten rose.  This fancy lady is undoubtedly the queen of winter blooming perennials.  There are all kinds of hybrids and colors that bloom at different times of the year.  The colors; muted pinks, purples, and whites, matter arguably less than what time it blooms.  They can be fussy if given too much sun or crowded, but with space and some afternoon shade, it’s a very easy plant to grow and slowly spreads to create a beautiful patch.  It’s deer resistant too!
  2. Pussywillow.  Willows are a love em’ or hate em’ kind of plant, but in February you remember why you planted them.  They produce long branches full of fuzzy silver or black catkins that last a long time inside in a vase, right about the time of year that we all need some cheering up.  They are also SUPER easy to grow, and can take wet areas in sun or shade.  Cut them way back to the ground in spring to keep them in check for the season.
  3. Red Twig and Yellow Twig Dogwood.  Twig dogwoods are excellent, easy natives that create lush growth and small white flowers in spring as well as colorful bark for the winter months.  There are many varieties to choose from but if you are looking for a compact plant, stick to newer patented versions like the Proven Winners Arctic series.  Or give it a good haircut in early spring.  Twig dogwoods are best planted en mass for a winter display of red or yellow.  There is a row of them planted in front of a retaining wall at the entrance of Sierra Nevada in south Asheville that helps make them pop.  Also, consider planting them in front of evergreens for a holiday look.
  4. Vernal Witchhazel.  This Ozark native has a shorter and wider habit than common witch hazel and blooms in late winter or very early spring.  As cool as it is that it blooms at such an odd time, vernal witchhazel is one of our favorite native plants for ease of growth, upright habit, foliage, and yellow fall color.  Check this one out, it’s worth having in every garden and thrives almost anywhere with at least a few hours of sun.
  5. Upright Sedum.  Sedums are some of our favorite perennials.  They are a versatile, diverse family of plants that are easy to grow and propagate.  Upright sedums (sedum spectabile) flower in the fall and keep their seed head through the winter months.  Will its beauty blow your mind in the winter?  Doubtful, but planted en mass it has a shrublike effect, looks neat in the snow, and provides food for the birds.  Autumn Joy is the classic, but we like Autumn Fire for its improved tolerance of our summer heat in Asheville.
  6. Golden Curls Willow.  If you like the look of yellow twig dogwood, consider this willow.  It has a yellow, almost bronze bark, upright habit, and twisty branches that look really cool in the winter.  It’s also very fast growing, and the long branches look great inside as a cut display in a pot near the fireplace.  Either let it get big n wild ( it gets 30’ or so) or ruthlessly cut it all the way back to the ground in the spring.  It won’t mind either way.  All willows like wet areas and will search out water, so plant 50’ or more away from any water pipes.  Full sun to part shade.
  7. Winterberry holly.  Most people think of hollies as evergreens, but the species Ilex verticillata is a deciduous native that drops its leaves right after producing colorful red or yellow berries.  They look beautiful in winter, especially after a snow.  This species needs a male pollinator within 50’ to produce berries, at a ratio of 1 male to up to 5 females.  It is an easy-growing plant in full sun to almost full shade.


Evergreens are great in the winter, but for a little extra color, check out the plants above, especially grouped with evergreens as a backdrop.  Also look into the really early spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, quince, or Japanese magnolia.  Even if they don’t technically bloom in the winter, there is nothing more exciting than seeing the first blooms of spring.

Vernal Witchhazel

When in bloom, there is nothing like a lilac.  They are wonderful plants, full of fragrant blooms in the spring and tough as nails.  There are tons of varieties available, but most of us think of grama’s gangly old bush out back by the tool shed.  This is called an old-fashioned lilac, and many people struggle to get that old girl to bloom.

Don’t take any crap from your lilac.  If it’s not blooming, it’s time to be ruthless.  First, ask yourself these four things:

  1. How much shade is it getting?  Old lilac bushes often end up tucked away in the shade over time.  They are much happier in the sun, and it will show in their blooms.
  2. How old is it?  Lilac blooms will start to dwindle on really old plants.
  3. When is it getting pruned?  Lilacs bloom on old wood, so if it’s a small plant and you are pruning in fall or winter, you are probably chopping off the buds.
  4. Did it bloom well last year?  Old fashioned lilacs have an alternate blooming habit, especially if allowed to produce seed.

If it is located in the shade, old as dirt, or both, whack it all the way to the ground either after it blooms or in the winter.  You’ll have to wait a year or two to get blooms, but that should clean up the space and rejuvenate it.   If it’s a new plant and in full sun, make sure you wait to prune until after it blooms in early summer, and keep it to a minimum.

If you’d like to grow lilacs in the Asheville area, here are some suggestions:

  • Pick an interesting, compact variety.  There are a surprising amount of lilacs to choose from, especially living in the Asheville area (zone 6 or 7).  Don’t limit yourself to the gangly old fashioned version.  Miss Kim is great, Pilabin, or Bloomerang.
  • Lilacs like well-draining, neutral soil.  If you have that good ole’ heavy clay, amend it well with some soil conditioner or composted bark mulch when you plant, and some garden lime.   No need to fuss about amounts, just chuck a cup or two of lime in the hole and mix it in.
  • Mulch the top well after planting, 3 inches of triple ground bark will do.
  • Full sun, full sun, full sun.  They like space too, especially if the variety is prone to powdery mildew.
  • Deer don’t really bother them but rabbits can nibble some varieties.  If you have a lot of rabbits hangin’ around in spring, start with a larger plant or grow with carrots.
  • Lilacs tend to be slow-growing, especially the dwarf varieties.  Be patient the first couple of years.
  • Some can get leggy, especially when young.  To keep it full, prune back the blooms and tallest branches in late spring/early summer.

Here is a cool list of lilacs to check out.  Warning:  You just might want to start a collection!


Lilacs are excellent plants, especially when in bloom, but they need a little tough love sometimes.  Cut the old, sloppy specimens to the ground to rejuvenate them.  Or consider planting a newer, more compact variety.   And don’t forget the sun!

If you are interested in what lilacs we are growing this year click here!

‘Aphrodite’ Sweetshrub

“Mt. Airy” Fothergilla

Pronounced ‘father gil a’, this is a slow to medium growing shrub that gets 5-6’ tall.  It produces fragrant, white, bottlebrush-shaped flowers in early spring and the leaves turn brilliant colors in the fall.  Loves full sun but will take some shade.  While something nibbled the flowers of one of ours this spring, we haven’t had any other trouble with pests, disease, or grazers the rest of the year.

“Ruby Spice” Clethra

This beautiful plant is covered in fragrant pinkish-red blooms about mid-summer.  A fairly slow-growing, upright, suckering shrub that eventually gets about 8’ tall, Clethra is a great choice for part shade woodland gardens or wet areas, but is adaptable almost anywhere.  The leaves turn yellow in the fall.  Full sun to shade.

“Alice” Oakleaf Hydrangea

This is one of our favorite informal “filler” type shrubs.  Alice grows large (around 8’) and fast and makes the space feel lush and wild.  Large white flowers appear for most of the summer, fading to pink as they age, followed by red fall color on the leaves.  Maybe not the most spectacular in the fall, but they do have good character and some color as the season winds down.  Sometimes the leaves persist well into winter for those of us in the Asheville area.

Deer seem to enjoy the leaves almost as much as we do, so if you get deer you might want to get a more established plant, or just keep your eyes peeled with a large broom.

Also, check out some of the more compact cultivars;  Ruby Slippers and Snow Queen.

“Vernal” Witchhazel

Witchhazel is best known for its odd bloom times, but it’s a great plant almost all year.  The vernal variety (meaning spring), is technically native to the Ozarks, but we like it because it is a little more compact and shrubby than the common witchhazel (8-10’ tall fully grown vs. 15-20 with the common variety) and produces fragrant blooms in late winter/early spring vs. the fall. They are all easy to grow with excellent foliage and yellow fall color.  Nothing seems to faze witchhazel (even deer).  Full sun to part shade.

American Beautyberry

Beautyberry is a member of the mint family, so that should tell you it’s almost impossible to kill.  They produce neat little purple berries in mid to late summer on new wood.  They tend to get leggy so feel free to trim back periodically for a bushier plant.  A great native for slopes.  Full sun to part shade.

Carolina Sweetshrub

This is one of our favorite compact natives.  The leaves look almost tropical at times and they keep a compact, tidy shape without much pruning at all.  Flowers are a fantastic deep red and have an unusual banana-like fragrance, but usually it’s not that strong. ‘Aphrodite’ is a more recent cultivar with bigger leaves and larger flowers that rebloom in the summer.  Sun to shade and resistant to deer too.

For a list of what we have growing this year at the nursery, check out our inventory page!

I normally shy away from these topics because, well, people can be a little touchy about spraying things.  But I had a few lovely ladies come by last year and request it, so here we go.

How about we call it spritz?  We shall flit and spritz amongst the roses.

Brown spots on your plants mean there is a disease present.  There are surprisingly few options available for homeowners to deal with fungal problems, and usually they are hidden away in a corner, buried by an entire wall of roundup and pesticides.  This makes it hard to even find what you need to deal with the issue, so often folks buy Neem oil or some insecticide that has nothing to do with the problem.

Compounding it further is the fact that by the time you have a disease issue, it’s basically too late.  It’s not very satisfying to be out spritzing healthy looking plants.

The first thing to do is think about what time of year it is.  By the time late summer rolls around, your babies are all going dormant and will drop their leaves soon, so it’s fairly pointless to spray at that point for superficial issues like powdery mildew.  Some of the evergreens may benefit, but it’s best to go with disease resistant varieties with those anyway, especially the larger trees.

For the best (and easiest) protection from common foliage diseases, look for a systemic fungicide.  Spritz every couple of weeks starting in spring and go until the flowers are done.  Systemic types get absorbed into the plant so you don’t have to apply as often or worry about hitting every part of the plant to give it protection.  The one you see most often at the store is called Immunox and works well.

Infuse is another one on Amazon that I haven’t tried.  The key is to look for a type that’s systemic.  If you have a specific issue you are dealing with, just look for a systemic fungicide that has that issue listed.  Some things are hard to diagnose, so the simplest approach is to start early and hope that what you are using takes care of things.

Contact fungicides stick to the surface and don’t get absorbed into the plant.  There are numerous different chemicals out there that do that.  Copper, mancozeb, and chlorothalonil (Daconil) are all contact fungicides, and can be very effective on their own or in addition to a systemic variety.  When using contact fungicides, it’s important to get the undersides of the leaves- easier said than done.  They also wash off in the rain.

Here are some trees and shrubs that tend to get the funk at some point in the season:

Hydrangeas-particularly arborescens, macrophylla, and quercifolia.

Dogwoods (powdery mildew, especially the natives)

Fruit Trees

Hollyhocks -watch out, these get rust like crazy!

Japanese magnolia

Butterfly bush




We have a lot of disease pressure in the hot and humid Asheville area.  To keep your plants looking their best, try using a systemic fungicide like Immunox, starting in the spring, even if the plant looks just fine.  This can also be used on tomatoes to protect from blight and extend the season a bit.

Got some hippies next door in the hot tub smoking left handers?  Once you are toweled off and back at your house, consider some of these excellent plants for keeping the dirty business out of sight.  Here are 9 great plants for creating a privacy screen in the Asheville area, in no particular order.

  1. Green giant arborvitae.  The number one selling tree on the market right now for privacy.  It’s fast growing, more narrow that the Leyland cypress, and doesn’t have the disease issues that one does.  Downsides?  They get HUGE, 50-60’ tall and around 15’ wide, and they are everywhere.  Green giants like as much sun as possible and a good dose of slow release fertilizer in the spring to really kick that growth into high gear.  Deer also enjoy most arborvitae, though these get big enough where sharing isn’t a problem.
  2. Emerald green arborvitae.  Perhaps the second best seller in Asheville for screening.  This one stays much more in bounds, topping off at around 15’, but grows far more slowly.  Emerald greens are dense and don’t like to be touching each other or they can develop brown areas where they don’t get enough sun.  You also want to watch that they (or any arborvitae) don’t develop multiple trunks at the base, which can cause splitting over time.  Full sun.
  3. Nelly R. Stevens Holly.  Nellies are a great choice for screens.  They are fast growing to around 20’ tall and 10-15’ wide and don’t mind some shade.  No pollinator needed for berry set on this one either.  Full sun to part shade.
  4. Sky Pencil Holly.  One of our favorites, sky pencils have a little more formal look and fit in tight spaces.  Grows to 8’ tall and 3’ wide.  Good for city areas.  Full sun to part shade.
  5. Blue Ice Arizona Cypress.  This is another evergreen that does very well in the humidity and clay in the Asheville area.  It’s a big boy, 40-50’ tall and 20’ wide, with beautiful blue foliage.  Fast growing, especially in full sun with lots of nutrients. Deer don’t bother these as much as the arborvitae.
  6. Skip Laurel.  Skip laurels are very popular in the Asheville area and make an excellent, adaptable foundation plant or screening hedge (10-15’) in full sun or part shade.  As an added bonus they have fragrant white flowers in spring, unique on this list.  They are deer resistant too!  For downsides- they are expensive, expect to pay close to $100 for landscape size plants.  They also have some problems with disease, one of which is called shot hole, which can be a problem when there is a lot of overhead watering or rain.  When planting laurels, make sure to break up the soil well, give them a good mulch, and avoid planting them under overhangs or a drip line.
  7. Hicks Yew.  Yews are an excellent option for shady areas, especially if you aren’t looking for a tall tree. They are very low maintenance and can be shaped as needed.  Slow growing to around 10’, and poisonous.
  8. Techny arborvitae.  This one almost didn’t make the list because it’s hard to find.  Techny is a growers favorite, slower growing and more drought tolerant than the species.  15-30’ tall in full sun to part shade.  Here is an excellent article all about Techny’s.
  9. Yoshino cryptomeria.  A good substitute for green giants if you like a looser, more Japanese style look.  Fast growing, full sun.  Another one of our favorites at the nursery.


For the most versatile privacy screening plants in the Asheville area, look first to arborvitae or evergreen hollies.  Both of those are large families of plants, with many different shapes and styles to choose from.

If deer are an issue, consider hollies or cypress.  For shady areas, Yews or Laurels are probably the way to go, though some of the others can also work if it’s not too shady.

Choose your location wisely, especially when planting the larger growing varieties.  Keep in mind that with slower growing varieties, the tradeoff is usually a sturdier, longer lived plant.

Decide first on how tall you need your screen to be, then how much sun the area gets.  With limited space it often makes the most sense to go with plants that don’t get too wide at the base.  If you do decide to go with something larger, most evergreens don’t mind a little pruning and shaping as necessary.

Butterfly bushes are one of those plants that straddle the line between a shrub and a perennial.  They are very fast growing in the right conditions, and bloom on new growth that season.  That means that they can be cut back almost to the ground every year without worrying about messing with flower production.

They are wonderful, easy to grow plants, especially if you give them a little maintenance this time of year.

Late winter to early spring is the time to prune them, before they leaf out for the season.  If it was just planted, cut it back by about half its size or so, but if it’s established in its spot for a couple years or more, go ahead and go all the way to a few inches off the ground.  This will help revitalize it for the season and keep its size in check.

Below is one of those poor specimens that we’ve probably all seen.  It’s been planted in a spot with too much shade and hasn’t been pruned heavily enough over the years.  This creates a straggly, woody looking plant that is prone to splitting.  If you have one that looks like that, try cutting it all the way to the ground and see how it does for you.  If it comes back very spindly chances are that it’s not getting enough sun.

Here are a few more tips for growing these fantastic plants:

  1. They like a little more alkaline soil than what most of us have around Asheville, so when you trim them it’s a good idea to top dress with a little pelletized lime every other year or so.  Lime is also known as poor man’s fertilizer.
  2. If you have one of the more leggy old fashioned varieties like Black Knight, try putting multiple colors close together.  When they bloom, they will twine together and create a neat bicolor effect that looks like it’s all from the same shrub.  That could be done as a hedge as well.
  3. Choose wisely, they can be quite different in habit.  The newer varieties can be much fuller and shorter plants.  Check out the Monarch collection or many of the Proven Winners options if you are looking for a more compact variety.
  4. Deadhead.  All that crazy growth does take a little work to maintain.  If you cut off spent blooms it dramatically extends the bloom time and keeps the plant tidier, especially the older varieties.
  5. Topdress in the spring with fertilizer.  Fast growth means hungry plants.  If you like things low maintenance, go with a slow release fertilizer like Ozmocote 14 14 14.
  6. Try a white one!  White flowering shrubs like butterfly bush or paniculata hydrangeas can create a dramatic backdrop for summer blooming perennials like echinacea.
  7. Full sun is the way to go for the best blooms and habit.
  8. Don’t cut it back in the fall, especially around Asheville when the weather jumps from freezing to 70 degrees in the same week. Wait until late winter when you can be sure that it’s dormant.


Butterfly bushes are adaptable, easy to grow plants that do best in full sun with well draining soil and lots of nitrogen.  Give them a massive haircut each year from late winter to spring to keep them looking their best.

For years I felt that it was my obligation to do as much as I could to use the native heavy clay that I was cursed blessed with on my little piece of land in Weaverville.  Primarily this meant to mulch with as much organic matter as possible, every year, using the no till method.

And it works.  Many plants do great, even with very little amendment. We are talking clay so heavy that it often takes swinging a pick mattock just to get a hole dug.  I don’t dig, I slice.

I tried to till.  The rototiller just laughed at the clay.  To this day it sits at the nursery with a flat tire and a smirk.

So what’s the problem, you ask?  Three things:

  1. It’s tiring.  Breaking up clay gets old every time you want to plant something.  As much as I love Western North Carolina, something in my midwest blood dreams about some rich flat land in Ohio or something.
  2. It takes a long time.  Essentially what happens when you mulch, is that the mulch is breaking down to form a layer of topsoil over time.  A long time.  Meanwhile, you are still digging in clay.
  3. It’s expensive.  This is probably the most important point.  Mulching with good bark mulch every year gets expensive.

If you want a nice landscape and healthy plants, mulch is unavoidable (see below).  But there is a way to make your life easier, and save some money in the long run.  That is with topsoil.

The decision to bring in topsoil depends on how hard your land is.  My rule of thumb is the shovel test.  If I can dig with a shovel without a lot of effort, then I use the soil I have and stick to mulch.  If you are one of us cursed blessed to live on a ridge that needs a digging fork or a mattock to get a hole dug, I suggest starting with topsoil, then mulching.

This does not mean raised beds.  I’m not the biggest fan of raised beds, unless you are going for form before function.  They are great in neighborhoods with small lots to keep things cute and tidy, but the sacrifice in usable space often isn’t worth it.

I’d suggest wide rows, unsupported by anything for gardens, or using edging to define perennial beds.   There is also the dump and go method without shaping or defining anything, though that can get you into trouble when the grass starts to creep where it doesn’t belong.


If you are creating new areas in your landscape for gardens or perennial beds, and your ground is too hard to dig with a shovel, start with a good thick layer of topsoil, at least 6”.  This will give you a much more aerated and better draining soil, make gardening easier, and save you money over time because you won’t need to mulch as thick or as often.  Just don’t forget to mulch after you plant with a nice all bark mulch!

What about manure and compost?  For starting new beds, those products can be hard to find, expensive, and/or confuse the issue.  If you are experienced and have access to those items at a price that works for you, I’d say go ahead and use that instead of or in addition to topsoil.  Just keep in mind that it takes time for those inputs to break down enough for the plant to use, so supplemental fertilizer will most likely be needed anyway, especially for heavy feeders like garden vegetables.  For ease of use I suggest top dressing with a slow release fertilizer like Ozmocote, especially the first year.

Need help planting?  Click Here.

If you are looking for something to try in the garden this winter, it’s a great time of year for hardwood cuttings.

The plants that do well as hardwoods makes a fairly short list, and success for most plants isn’t as high as doing softwoods in summer, but the process is about as easy as it gets and well worth experimenting with.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Fill a large bin or old nursery pot with potting soil.  This could be almost anything, as long as it’s at least 6” deep and has holes for drainage.  Dish tubs work, storage bins, old milk jugs, you can get creative with this.  3 gallon nursery pots work very well, especially the stout version.
  2. Take 2 node cuttings (or more) from the current years growth on the plant.  Some plants like willows can do great with larger cuttings of 4 nodes or more, but you only need two.
  3. Dip the bottom node in rooting compound.  Some things don’t need this but it isn’t that big of a deal to do it, so why not increase the chances that you will get roots.  I use Dip N Grow at a 1:4 ratio to water but I don’t think the type matters that much.  Just follow the instructions on whatever product you buy.
  4. Stick the node that has been dipped into the potting mix a few inches or until it’s stable, spacing about 1” apart or a little more, just not much closer than that.
  5. Water well and place in a protected area such as a porch or unheated garage.  You want to protect from the wind and cold snaps, especially after it has started to leaf out.
  6. Cross your fingers and check once a month or so to make sure that the soil isn’t too dry.  If leaves appear in the spring, congratulations, you’re the big cheese!  Just make sure to protect those babies from late spring frosts.
  7. From there you can either leave them be for the season and let them develop roots before potting next spring, or pot them up, fertilize with some slow release fertilizer, and start your own backyard nursery.  Keep in mind that plants are most tender when they are small and start to leaf out in the spring, it’s best to leave them be at that point.

Here are some plants that do well as hardwood cuttings:




Twig Dogwood

Arborescens hydrangea

Paniculata hydrangea


Japanese magnolia

Rose of Sharon

Good luck!