Vegetative propagation experiments were conducted on redbay (Persea borbonia (L.) Spreng. [Lauraceae]) to evaluate disease resistance and to conserve germplasm. We developed a primary framework for redbay vegetative propagation to address limitations of long-term seed storage and the need to preserve and screen putatively laurel wilt-resistant redbays. Healthy/asymptomatic redbay individuals were chosen from 6 field sites with high levels of disease pressure and mortality. These individuals were exposed to various IBA forms, bottom heat, and rooting media mixtures. The use of IBA was required for rooting redbay; however, we found no significant differences among IBA type or bottom heat on rooting success. Parent tree provenance significantly affected root length. A 3:1 (v:v) perlite:vermiculite mixture yielded significantly more cuttings with roots and more roots per cutting. We observed an average rooting percentage of 20 to 37%, and ramets that were still alive after 7 mo averaged 46 to 72% rooting across treatments. Therefore, we recommend treating with a 0.3% IBA gel and striking them in 3:1 (v:v) perlite:vermiculite without bottom heat under intermittent mist.
Hughes MA, Smith JA. 2014. Vegetative propagation of putatively laurel wilt-resistant redbay (Persea borbonia). Native Plants Journal 15(1):42–50.