Paulownia Propagation - Paulownia Farm
Paulownia Farm

Cultivation of Paulownia - 3. Sexual & Asexual Propagation

After the enthusiastic welcome of the two previous parts by the mothers and relatives of the authors of ‘Kalliergeia’ (Chinese 养殖), the tribute to the cultivation of Paulownia continues with the third part dealing exclusively with methods of Paulownia propagation.

Seeds and vegetative propagation of Paulownia and show must go on.

Cultivation of Paulownia

Paulownia Propagation - Paulownia Seed Pods
Paulownia Seed Pods

Paulownia Propagation

Paulownia propagation is quite easily with seed and root cuttings, while the reproduction of Paulownia with wood cuttings is counterproductive – not appropriate.

Paulownia usually starts producing seeds when it reaches the age of 8 to 10 years old. Its oval shaped fruit contains numerous microscopic seeds – seeds that can be transported by wind over extremely long distances.

Root cuttings are obtained only from young plants aged 1-2 years. Mature trees never grow with as much vigour as those from juvenile roots and that ‘s why to take root cuttings from young trees is of great importance for the successful vegetative propagation of Paulownia.

Cultivation of Paulownia

Πολλαπλασιασμός της Παυλώνιας - Καρποί Ανοιχτοί
Open Seed Pods
Paulownia Propagation - Seeds of Paulownia
Seeds of Paulownia

Paulownia Seeds Collection, Extraction, and Handling

The seeds are collected as soon as the pods begin to get brown in about September.

After that they are transported in a warm and humid free place to dry. After the pods finally have brown color, they are placed in burlap bags and shredded.

Then separate the seed from the waste material with a blower or a thick sieve initially and then very thin.

Paulownia seeds can be placed in airtight containers or layered in a wet peat and sand mixture.

Research has shown that seeds placed in airtight containers hold their germination for at least 11 years if stored at room temperature of 4-5 °C.

However, the highest rate of germination is observed in seeds stored for up to 4 years.

Cultivation of Paulownia

Paulownia Propagation - Seedlings
Paulownia propagation - Seedlings

Growing from Seeds

The seeds are stratified for 4-6 weeks in wet peat or sand and at 5 oC to accelerate their germination. Their sowing takes place on trays when the average daily temperature is 11 oC (minimum 6 oC, maximum 16 oC), becomes surface and the grains are barely covered. If planted deeper they will not be able to grow.

Their watering needs special attention: they are watered so much as to keep the sowing surface wet so they do not dry out. Under these conditions, when they receive approximately 150 hours of light after 2 to 3 weeks, they grow and in 30 to 40 days seedlings are ready for transplantation.

Cultivation of Paulownia

Paulownia Propagation - Root Cutting
Paulownia propagation - Root Cuttings
Paulownia Propagation - Root Cuttings
Root Cutting Dimensions

Growing from Root Cuttings

The Paulownia propagation by root cuttings can be obtained from mature trees or from plants in the nursery.

Preferably, the cuttings are derived from young seedlings, because the juvenile of the roots produces more robust trees.

The root cuttings of Paulownia are taken at the end of the winter or early spring.

Appropriate cuttings sizes are those whose root diameter is 0.75-3 cm and length 10-12 cm. Deviations from these sizes do not yield satisfactory results.

Immediately after receipt of the propagation material, the root cuttings are washed thoroughly, all the fine roots are removed and the root is immersed for 30 minutes in a fungicide solution (Thiram or Captan).

Cultivation of Paulownia

Paulownia Propagation - Root Cuttings of P. fortunei
Paulownia Propagation - Root Cuttings of P. fortunei
Paulownia Propagation - Raised Beds
Paulownia Propagation - Raised Beds
Paulownia Propagation - Paulownia in Pots
Paulownia propagation - Paulownia in Pots

In the Nursery

The transplantation of the seedlings and root cuttings of Paulownia is done directly on the ground because it is the most appropriate method for their good and trouble-free vigorous growing.

The soil to be planted must be fertile, light in composition and pH 6-7.5.

The soil is formed into raised beds after a fungicide (eg Captan) has been incorporated into a 5-10 cm depth and a slow release fertilizer of NPK type (14-14-14) at 0.5 kg / m2. The seedlings and root cuttings of Paulownia are planted at distances of 0.50-1 m.

Planting in raised beds has the following advantages:

  • Increases the volume of soil that contains the necessary nutrients and is easier to feed the young plants.
  • With mounding-up the soil, its temperature also increases
  • A much better circulation of air in the root region is achieved.
  • Avoid the risk of excessive build-up of moisture leading to seedlings.

The raised beds should be 20 cm high and 40 cm wide while the distances between them can be from 0.80 m to 1 m.

After planting, the seedlings and root cuttings of Paulownia are watered every 1-2 days until settled. Then the irrigations are diluted.

Trees at the end of the growing season will have reached a height of 1.50-6 m while if planted at a distance of 1 m it is expected to reach the height of 6 m and the diameter of the trunk to be 6-8 cm.

And since everything is going well and the propagation of Paulownia or Kiri, or as it is called, will be successful, the show will continue in fine Cantonese.

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