Start with a cutting that is approximately 6-8 inches long. Cuttings can be shorter but should have at least 4 nodes (leaf scars). Remove all of the leaves, or leave 1-2 tiny leaves at the top, as long as there are still 2 nodes to go below ground and two above ground.
Use a clean 4” pot or 1 gallon pot. Fill the container with moistened potting or seed-starter mix. You can also make your own mix of sand and soil. Just keep in mind that cuttings are more likely to successfully root in a lighter medium than in garden soil. If you do plant directly in garden soil, we recommend planting more cuttings than you want since it is likely that several will not root.
If you have rooting hormone (which stimulates root production), follow the instructions to apply it to your cuttings. (Also see links below for homemade rooting formulas.)
Insert the cutting in the pot (or ground) with at least 2 nodes below the surface and 2 above. Be sure you insert your cutting with the correct side down! Look at the nodes (leaf scars). They should look like they are smiling (upward curve).
Watering: Keep the planing mix moist but not soggy. Check the moisture level by putting your finger in the soil and water when it is getting dry.
Light: Dappled light is best.
Be patient! Root development may take from 3 to 8 weeks, possibly longer. New leaves will emerge on top after roots have developed. Once your plant has leaves and roots, you can transplant it into the garden or a larger pot.
In the garden, plant in full sun at least 1½ feet apart, and include a tall stake for each plant.
Purple Tree Collard will naturally develop long sprawling branches that may bend to the ground and root there unless you vigilantly tie them up and/or prune the side branches. Through careful pruning and harvesting, you can keep your plants shorter if you wish.
Enjoy your harvest! As your plant grows, you can take new cuttings to share with friends and family.