February 10, 2019

Matilija Bob’s California Native Plant Propagation Class!

March 23rd- Plant Propagation Class (rain may cause reschedule)

A couple of cancellations – room of a couple more people but you gotta let me know. Thanks, Bob

Just posted a brief course outline at the bottom- so scroll down.


This is the time of year when we do a lot of native plant propagation by “cuttings”. These are short stem tips usually 3” to 4” long that are treated with a rooting hormone to stimulate root growth. The rooted stem cuttings are transplanted to successively larger containers until they are large enough to be planted out in a garden or restoration project. This is the most efficient method of propagation at this time of year. Different methods of plant propagation are more efficient at different times of the year.

(yes, these above are stem cutting and the sort of thing you will be doing.)

The class that we will be having at the nursery on March 23rd will demonstrate propagation of our California natives via stem cuttings. We will briefly go over the various propagation steps. To get the plants to root out then will go over and demonstrate what you do after they’ve rooted out. This is be more classroom like and should last no more than 20 minutes even with questions.

Next, the “hands on” real learning begins. We (we, meaning you and me) go out into the nursery to select cutting material, bring it back to the propagation area. In the propagation area we will prepare the stems for “sticking” in the propagation mix. Then stick the cuttings- that we/you will take home to watch them grow.

(These stems are prefect “stem cutting” material, what you’ll be doing.)

The “hands on” part should take between 40 to 60 minutes. I’ll be happy to answer questions during and after, as long as there are questions I will stay to answer.

Where, when and all that….The class will be held at Matilija Nursery, 82225 Waters Road Moorpark, on March 23rd, beginning at 2:30. We will start pretty promptly at 2:30 but if you’re late just join in when you can you’ll get the idea. I’ll supply all the containers, cutting mix, rooting hormone, and plants. You’ll have to supply the clippers. We can probably handle something like 30 people and still have space to move so it’s a good idea to let me know you’re coming and I’ll confirm/put you one the list. Beyond 30 people we won’t have any more room for you to work and take your own cuttings – so you’ll be limited to “watching only” and watching is never as much fun as doing.

If you have questions you’re welcome to email: matilijanurseryweb@gmail.com or call 805-523-8604.

I’ll update the list of who’s going at least daily-so let me know and I’ll put you on the list- we max out at about 30!

  1. Kim Baker
  2. Casey Wells
  3. Shig Hayashi
  4. Joe Santos
  5. Marcy Belton
  6. Cat Sun
  7. Julie Carson
  8. Gisza Seeholzer
  9. Tony Passolano
  10. Louis Hirsch
  11. Darren Hartwich
  12. Ernest Kettenrin
  13. Vic Lozano
  14. Joanie Lozano
  15. Susan Shumway
  16. Ramie Klocko
  17. Dee Lyon
  18. SbSanford
  19. Payton Robinson
  20. Sari Scheer
  21. Karen Reisenfield
  22. Shannon DeVaney
  23. Katherine Gavzy
  24. Linda Ronske
  25. Cathy To
  26. Mikyla Maglente
  27. Monica Tudor


Matilija Nursery Propagation Workshop- 3/23- from 2:30 to 4!

The world of plant propagation is way too wide to cover in a brief hour and a half so we’ll focus on the simple stuff that’s likely to produce successful results. The first section (I.) shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The second section (II.) will use the majority of time maybe 45min to an hour. Finally the third section will be maybe more individual/small groups and should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

I.  Tell them and show them what you’re going to talk about then show them and tell them. We’ll go over how to take “stem cuttings”. This is different than propagation from seeds or divisions and it’s generally what we’re doing now and as the season progresses we’ll be doing this less and less. We’ll talk about specifically what we’ll be doing then take a look at what we’ve done – the cutting flats and when to transplant from cuttings to containers. Yes, our successes and failure too.

II. I’ll show you the materials you’ll have to work with and provide everything except the clippers- those you have to bring. I’ll demonstrate what and how then it’s up to you. You can pretty much take cuttings from anything around the nursery. Not everything will have the same degree of success. The native sages (Salvia) and Ceanothus will likely yield the better results but there’s lots of stuff to try from California fuchsia, Verbena, and on and on. I can suggest stuff too when you’re “in production”.

III. Then, how will you know when your cutting have “rooted” and what is the next step. We can cover that sort of as you go and/or go out the table with the cuttings and I can show you at that point. When you’re cuttings have rooted they are still not ready for your garden. They’ll need to develop a good and strong root ball and then they’ll be ready to plant out, so you’ll need to transplant the rooted cuttings to a small container. And, we’ll do that too.


All this should take about 90 minutes. I’d bring a small note pad – likely won’t need it but you never know. I can also stick around to answer any specific questions for a while too.




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