Mulberry Cuttings

How to grow a mulberry tree from a cutting?

Mulberries are the perfect yummy treat during the summer season. They are loaded with high amounts of protein and other vitamins and minerals like iron and potassium, which are essential for your body.

You can even consume dried mulberries like raisins. Despite delicious sweet fruit, the mulberry tree also provides shade during summer. The tree attracts colorful birds and butterflies when it is loaded with berries.

Having a mulberry tree becomes a focal point in your garden. You can grow a mulberry tree by seed, but it will take approximately ten years to bear fruit. The best way of propagating a mulberry tree is by cuttings.

The article discusses how to grow a mulberry tree from a cutting. So, keep scrolling through this article to learn about the propagation of the mulberry tree.

A Brief Description Of Mulberries

Mulberry trees don’t require much maintenance and care when fully established. There are mainly three types of species that are pretty popular. 

The first one is black mulberry(Morus nigra) which is primarily found in Western Asia and grows approximately a height of 30 feet.

The second one is red mulberries(Morus rubus), which are popular in the eastern United States. These mulberries are a bit hard compared to black mulberries. The red mulberries grow up to a height of 70 feet.

The third one is white mulberries which originated from China. They grow up to a height of 80 feet.

Mulberry trees grow very fast when they are young. You will observe that leaves are alternately arranged on branches and have saw teeth on the margins. 

Mulberries are widely recognized for producing more silk. The foliage of this tree is the only source of nutrition for silkworms.

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Growing Requirements Of Mulberry

1. Sunlight

Mulberry trees require at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily. A lot of direct sunlight can produce the best berries from the tree.

2. Watering

You need to water the plants when the soil is dry and soggy. The plants can tolerate drought but will grow best and yield fruits when you water frequently.

If you have a young mulberry tree in your garden, plant it frequently in the first year. However, once the tree becomes established, you don’t need to give much water.

3. Soil

Fertile well, drained soil with PH between 6-7 is best for growing mulberry trees. If the soil holds too much moisture, it may be the roots of the mulberry tree.

4. Fertilizer

You need to provide fertilizer to the mulberry tree within a gap of 5-8 weeks. The plant mainly requires fertilizer during the growing phase. But once it is established, it will not require fertilizer.

5. Pruning

You need to prune the tree mainly after the fruiting season so that the plant can maintain its size.

6. Pests

The young mulberry tree is mainly susceptible to white flies and spider mites. However, spraying a strong jet of water will help eliminate this solution.

How Long Does It Takes Mulberry Cuttings To Root?

Mulberry Cuttings

The mulberry tree is a slow-growing plant. The cuttings will require almost 4-8 weeks to grow into roots.

When you cut any stem for propagation, remember that the Stem or cutting should be 6 inches with 3-4 buds. Additionally, you should not split wood or damage the bark as it can cause infection and lower the chances of propagation.

How To Grow Mulberry Trees In Pots?

You can easily get mulberry fruits in the market. But if you grow them in your garden, you can enjoy unlimited fresh yummy fruits in summer.

Mulberry trees can grow more than 20 feet tall. But, everyone does not have more space in their garden to cultivate trees. But the best thing about mulberry trees is that you can easily grow them in pots.

We have listed below step by step procedure on how you can grow mulberry trees easily in pots.

1. Cut Stems

There are various ways of propagating mulberries. But the best one is by stem cutting. You need to cut the Stem from an old plant with the help of scissors or a sterile knife. Always cut just above the node (where a leaf or a bud emerges from the Stem). 

But always cut the Stem from a healthy and mature branch. The Stem must be at least 4 to 6 inches in length. 

2. Prepare The Stem 

Now your next duty will be to prepare the plant you will need to plant in a container or pot. Remove the bottom leaves, buds, and blooms from the lower portion of the Stem.

Once you remove the leaves and buds, dip one inch of the Stem in the rooting hormone to increase the success of the plant growth.

3. Plant The Cutting

Take a pot and prepare the growing medium for the plant. You can include potting mix along with perlite and sand so that the soil will drain out excess water. Now water the soil thoroughly and then make a small hole in the soil with the help of a pencil.

Make the hole enough to cover one-third of the bottom portion of the stem cutting. You can then place the cutting in the hole and pat the soil near the plant so that the Stem will stand in an upright position.

4. Cover The Pot

Now your next duty is to cover the pot with a clear plastic bag. Ensure to place a few sticks on the soil so that leaves cannot touch the plastic bag.

5. Place The Pot 

Place the pot where indirect sunlight will fall on the Stem for 6 hours. But never place the Stem in direct sunlight as it will wilt it.

6. Water The Stem

Check the soil moisture every day. If you find the soil soggy and dry, spray water inside the plastic bag as a mist.

If you find excess moisture inside the plastic bag, poke holes in the plastic bag to allow ventilation.

7. Check Roots

Your next duty is to check roots after 3-4 weeks. When you observe that the roots have developed ½ to 1 inch long, then there is no need to cover the plant with a plastic bag. Allow the mulberry tree to grow in a cool place for 4-5 days.

8. Transplant The Cuttings

Fill a 1-gallon pot with potting mix, then translate the newly grown mulberry tree into that pot. Transplanting into a bigger pot will allow the roots to grow better as they will get more space.

You need to place the pot in indirect sunlight and water it frequently. 

Never keep the soil soggy and dry, as it can hamper plant growth.

9. Harvesting

A mulberry tree usually takes 3-5 years to produce fruits. A young mulberry tree usually doesn’t produce many fruits in the first or second year. But after the second year, you will observe a lot of mulberries hanging in the tree.

If you pluck early berries by hand, they taste tart or sour. If you allow the berry to mature entirely on the tree, most of them may fall and get wasted.

So there is one best method by which you can harvest fresh mulberries.

Spread a tarp just under the tree and give the tree a good shake. The ripened mulberries will fall on the tarp, while the unripe ones will be attached to the tree.

The harvesting season for mulberries is usually in mid-June.

10. Storing

If you plan not to eat all the mulberries right away, store them in the refrigerator for almost 3-4 days.

You can freeze the mulberries and keep them for an extended period. Wash all the mulberries thoroughly and allow them to dry completely. Lay all the berries on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment. You can freeze the berries until they turn solid and transfer them into a freezer storage bag.

How To Grow Mulberry Cuttings In Water?

You can grow mulberry cuttings first in water and later transplant them to the soil. One advantage of first growing mulberry in water is that you can observe the development of roots.

We have listed below the procedure for growing mulberry cuttings in water.

1. Cut Stem

Cut the Stem from the mulberry tree and just above the node. You can do this with the help of scissors or a sterile knife. Remove all the lower buds and leaves from the lower portion of the Stem so that it will not obstruct during propagation.

2. Plant In Water

Take a glass containing tap water and place the Stem inside it. Keep the glass in a place where indirect sunlight can fall on the Stem for almost 6 hours. You need to replace the water weekly to avoid mold and bacteria growth. Small white roots will start to develop from the lower portion of the Stem within 3-4 weeks.

3. Observe The Roots

The roots need to develop at least 2-3 inches so that you can safely transplant them into the soil. The roots are very delicate at this stage. So, you need to be careful during transplantation.

4. Transplant 

Once you observe that the roots have developed strongly, then it’s time to transplant. You can transplant them either in the ground or in a one-gallon pot.

If you choose ground, select a place where the mulberry will be exposed to sunlight for 6-8 hours. You must also remember that these trees grow more than 20 feet. So, choose a location accordingly.

If you are growing in a pot, then choose 1 gallon or more than it. The root of mulberry grows very fast in soil. So, transplanting from one pot to another can be problematic.

The pot must have drainage holes to drain out all the excess water.

How Can I Propagate Mulberry Tree By Grafting?

Grafting is a method of joining two plants together. In this process, the cut portion of one tree is joined into the rooted section of another tree but of similar species. The upper part of the grafting procedure is known as the scion, and the lower part is known as the stock. It usually takes a few weeks or maybe months to have proper joining.

The grafting procedure accelerates the propagation process compared to the seed or cutting procedure.

We have listed below a few steps which you can follow to propagate the mulberry tree through the grafting procedure.

  • The scion and stock need to have the same diameter for union and propagating mulberry trees.
  • Prepare the scion by cutting a branch 6 inches long or shorter.
  • Your next duty is to remove all the leaves from the lower portion.
  • Taper the bottom portion of the scion by creating V shape incision.
  • Then, insert the scion into the stock and wrap the joint with tape or paraffin wax.
  • You can tighten the joint with the help of electric tape and leave it for almost eight weeks.
  • Remove the tape after eight weeks. If you observe leaves or buds emerging from it, the grafting procedure succeeds.

How Can I Propagate Mulberry Tree From Seeds?

You can propagate mulberry trees with seeds. But it will take more than 10 years to bear fruit. However, growing a mulberry tree from seeds is one of the best ways to develop rootstocks.

Below, we list the procedures to be followed for developing a mulberry tree from seeds.

1. Gather Mulberries

You need to gather a lot of mulberry fruits. It is because all the seeds will not successfully germinate and become a plant. If you don’t have a mulberry tree in your garden, you better purchase seeds from the nursery.

2. Soak The Mulberries In Water

Now you need to soak the mulberries in water for almost 24 hours. It will help in softening all the berries.

Now drain all the water and mash the berries so the seeds will come out.

3. Rinse And Dry All The Collected Mulberry Seeds

You need to rinse all the mulberry seeds and then spread them in a place where they will dry ut thoroughly. 

You have to rinse the seeds in distilled water once they are dry and then put them in a sealed plastic bag. You have to then keep that bag in the refrigerator for almost 60-100 days.

You can even wrap all the seeds with a clean paper towel and refrigerate them for 100 days. Change the paper towel within a gap of a few days if required.

The cold temperature will help break the dormancy period and increase the chances of the germination process.

4. Plant The Mulberry Seeds

Remove the plastic bag from the refrigerator after 60-100 days. The seeds are now ready for planting.

Prepare a tray containing equal soil, perlite, and peat. Place the seeds in that tray and moisten the soil.

The tray must be kept in light for 6-8 hours. You can keep the tray at 30 degrees Celsius temperature during day time for almost 8 hours. Additionally, check the soil moisture from time to time. When you feel dry, water the soil immediately.

5. Check Sprouts

You will observe sprouts within 2-3 weeks. You must transplant the seedlings into the pot once you observe healthy roots.

Fill the pot with potting soil mix and place the new roots. Water the soil frequently and place the pot in sunlight for at least 6-8 hours.

You can keep the pot outdoors if there is no danger of frost. You can move the mulberry tree finally to a permanent place within 12-24 months.

Conclusion

Mulberry trees are deciduous trees that produce small berries that resemble blackberries. These trees grow for almost more than 20 feet and live for 75-100 years. You can propagate mulberry trees by various methods like grafting, seedling, and cutting stems. The success of propagation depends on how well you follow the steps.

We have discussed the above regarding the propagation of the mulberry tree and hope you like it.

Sources:

  1. Mulberry Cultivation
  2. Mulberry Cultivation and Production
Hi, I am Dr. Aman Agarwal, a botanist from India. I love growing vegetables in my garden and sharing tips with others.
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