Dodonaea viscosa propagation

Propagation of dodonaea viscosa or hop bush as its commonly known is really simple using seed.

Every year we propagate one thousand dodonaea viscosa purpurea plants that we sell from our wholesale nursery.

If you would like to know how we propagate dodonaea viscosa purpurea continue reading.

dodonaea viscosa propagation

Seed collection

Dodonaea viscosa purpurea seeds appear in summer. They are pink in colour, papery to the touch and appear in mass.

The seed will hold onto the bush for quite some time. You’ll pick the seed once the seed within the pink papery casing has turned black. (see photo)

To check simply remove the papery casing and check. If the seed isn’t black check once a week until they are.

Once the seed is ripe its simply a matter of stripping them off the branches. The seed can be stored or sowed fresh. If storing, store it in a paper bag and keep dry.

Sowing the seed

Some people might like to remove the outer casing but it’s a total waste of time. We sow the seed case and all and as you’ll see shortly the seedlings come up thick and fast.

We like to sow the seed in a used styrafoam crate, but any container that will hold potting mix and allow good drainage is fine.

First we put in a thin layer of perlite just an inch or two deep. The perlite is great at holding moisture but also allows good airflow.

Then we use a good quality potting mix. Anything organic and without too much phosphorus. Dodonaea viscosa is native to Australia and like most Aussie natives doesn’t like too much phosphorus. You can buy an Australian native mix.

Next up is lay out the seed. Just spread them as evenly as possible over the surface and cover with a very thin layer of potting mix.

Remember the general rule of thumb when sowing any seed is to cover them in as much soil as the size of the seed.

Now that the seed is sown. Water them well and store in a sheltered well lit area. Ours go into our greenhouse.

Potting the seedlings

The seeds germinate very quickly within a month you should notice them popping up and after 2 months they will have formed a thick carpet!

Keep in mind that this is for freshly sown seed. This means we sowed them in the middle of summer so the weather was incredibly warm.

If the seed has been stored and you are sowing at a cooler time of year they might take awhile longer.

First they will develop small thin sun leaves, then the secondary leaves will come. Once these secondary leaves appear you can start potting them.

Gently tease them out of the potting soil. We like to pot into 50mm (2″) tube pots. This saves on room and allows us to easily pot them up into the size pot we sell them in at a later date.

Again, when potting use a low phosphorus potting mix such as an Australian native blend.

Another thing we like to do with all our cuttings and seedlings is water them with a liquid seaweed fertiliser we use seasol.

Whatever sized pot you pot your seedlings into you’ll want to keep them protected for another month or so. We place ours back into the greenhouse.

So long as the area has good light and is protected from blazing hot sun, wind and frost, it will be fine.

After a month the roots should be starting to develop nicely and the plants actively growing. They can now be moved out into the elements.

Once the roots are fully filling the pot they can be potted into larger pots or the garden.

Hopefully this article has been helpful. If you’re interested be sure to check out the other plants we propagate. You might also be interested to learn how we make money selling our plants. If these are things you are interested in subscribe to the website its free!

Propagation tools

To view links on the products we use when propagating be sure to click on the link.

Oh and below is a short video/slideshow showing the above steps.

Propagate hop bush slideshow

Dodonaea viscosa purpurea information

Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’-Hop bush is an evergreen shrub. It has  leathery coppery-purple foliage. In summer it produces clusters of small pink-red flowers/seeds that are small but pretty.

It gets its name hop bush from the fact that early European settlers to Australia used it to create beer.

A great plant choice for its contrasting foliage. Use as a shrub, hedge, screen, windbreak or dotted into a native garden.

Prefers a sunny position in moist well drained soil. Will tolerate once established: drought, frosts and salty coastal winds. Responds quite well to  pruning.

Cultural notes

Botanical name: Dodonaea viscosa ‘Purpurea’

Common name: Hop bush

Family: Sapindaceae

Native to: Australia

Flowers: summer

Position: Full sun

Height: 2-3m

Width: 1.5m


Hi I'm Kev. I'm mainly focused on propagation, running the nursery day to day, water gardening and staying active.

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