planting guide

1. General Planting Guide

– Allow your plant’s or tree’s roots to soak in water an hour or two before planting. Do not soak the roots for more than 24 hours (Exception: Mexican pepperleaf, taro, gotu kola and penny wort should be soaked for 3 days). Small plants that are shipped with soil do not need to be soaked.

Expose plants gradually to sunlight.

– Dig a planting hole that is large enough to accommodate your plant’s current root system with some extra room to grow. 

– Spread out the plants roots to encourage outward growth.

– Keep the plant vertical in the planting hole (perpendicular to the ground) so that it grows straight.

– Refill the hole with native soil (what was removed at digging time), and some organic compost.

– Gently tamp out any air pockets from the soil once the planting hole is filled.

– Thoroughly water your plant

– Give your plant some love, sing a song, tell it a story (optional)

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How to root cuttings

2. How to root cuttings

– Soak cuttings for 24-48h in water. Add a few drops of willow water, rooting hormone or alcohol if on hand. 

– Now you have 2 options: 

1) Leave them in water until roots form. Change water when it gets cloudy (the alcohol will help keep the water clean and bacteria free). Once the roots have formed you can plant in rich, loose garden soil or compost, either in a pot, or directly in the ground. This method works best for Elderberry and Willow.

2) This method works best for Beautyberry and Mulberry

– Choose a container that is deep enough to support the new root depth.

– Prepare a soil mixture that holds moisture, but does not become waterlogged – ⅔ potting mix and ⅓ sand works well

– Each stem that is prepared to this point will be dipped into a rooting compound and then placed directly down into the soil. We prepare the cuttings for you with a long incision on the stem – this allows maximum surface for root growth. On our permaculture, we use willow water as rooting hormone. 

– Cuttings will root without rooting compound (so do not worry if you don’t have any on hand) – it just may take a little longer.

– Plant the cutting with the cut end buried by at least 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.5-3.8 cm.) We always make sure that at least 2 nodes (where leaves used to be that were nipped off to encourage root growth) are covered in soil.

– Place a plastic bag over the container and put it in a 55 to 75 F. (13 to 24 C.), indirectly lit area.

– Open the bag daily to encourage air circulation and keep the media moist.

– Check for roots in two weeks. Some plants will be ready and other will take a month or more. 

– Repot the new plant when the root system is well established.

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black cherry

A look at.. Black Cherry tree

Common Name: black cherry  

Type: Tree

Family: Rosaceae

Native Range: North America

Zone: 3 to 9

Height: 50.00 to 80.00 feet

Spread: 30.00 to 60.00 feet

Bloom Time: April to May

Bloom Description: White

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Flowering Tree

Flower: Showy, Fragrant

Leaf: Good Fall

Attracts: Birds

Fruit: Showy

Tolerate: Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in moist, fertile loams in full sun. Young trees develop a long tap root which makes transplanting difficult.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Prunus serotina, commonly called black cherry, wild cherry or wild rum cherry, is native to eastern North America, Mexico and Central America. In Missouri, it typically occurs in both lowland and upland woods and along streams throughout the state (Steyermark). It is one of the largest of the cherries, typically growing to 50-80’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a narrow-columnar to rounded crown. It is perhaps most noted for its profuse spring bloom, attractive summer foliage and fall color. Fragrant white flowers in slender pendulous clusters (racemes to 6” long) appear with the foliage in spring (late April-May). Flowers are followed by drooping clusters of small red cherries (to 3/8” diameter) that ripen in late summer to dark purple-black. Fruits are bitter and inedible fresh off the tree, but can be used to make jams and jellies. Fruits have also been used to flavor certain liquors such as brandy and whiskey. Fruits are attractive to wildlife. Narrow oblong-ovate to lanceolate, glossy green leaves (to 5” long) have acuminate tips and serrate margins. Foliage turns attractive shades of yellow and rose in fall. Mature trees develop dark scaly bark. Bark, roots and leaves contain concentrations of toxic cyanogenic compounds, hence the noticeable bitter almond aroma of the inner bark. Native Americans prepared decoctions of the inner bark for cough medicines and tea-like cold remedies. Hard, reddish-brown wood takes a fine polish and is commercially valued for use in a large number of products such as furniture, veneers, cabinets, interior paneling, gun stocks, instrument/tool handles and musical instruments.

Genus name from Latin means plum or cherry tree.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word for “late” in reference to the late flowering and fruiting of this cherry in comparison to other cherries.

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