This weekend I picked up some cuttings of a red flowering crape myrtle to propagate. I took 6 inch hardwood cuttings that were just beginning to leaf out. Since I didn't have time to treat them right away I left them in a jar of water overnight to stay moist and treated them with rooting hormone the next day.
Here's the crape myrtle sticking procedure step by step. (Of course it can be used for many other plants as well.)
1. Prepare your potting medium. In this case I used sand but a 50/50 mix of sand and peat would work fine. Vermiculite is another good medium to use.
2.Take the cut end of the crape myrtle and dip it into the rooting hormone. I usually just dump a little hormone into a cup then dab the end of the cutting into it. Don't stick your cutting into your jar of hormone or you may contaminate it with any diseases that the cutting may have.
3.Carefully insert the coated ends of the cuttings into the potting medium. You want to make sure that you don't knock off the rooting hormone. Using a pencil or a dibber to make a hole ahead of time is a good idea but I usually don't bother and they do just fine. Water the potting medium carefully so that it is wet but not soaked and keep it steadily moist until rooting has occurred.
4. This step is the hardest...wait. Wait for the cutting to hold to the potting medium after a slight tug. If there is resistance (it usually means there are roots) I usually add enough water to make the sand soft enough to easily pull the cutting out of the medium. The other option is to remove all the plants at the same time and gently separate them.
5. The best step...enjoy the new plants! In about 6 weeks (or maybe less) the new little crape myrtles will be all set to grow in the garden.