Q: I have tried numerous times to start a new esperanza plant from a cutting. I’ve tried water, and I’ve tried rooting them in soil, but I’ve met with failure each time. Maybe I don’t know what a cutting is. How can I succeed?

AND: The answer I’ll give for a home gardener will be different than a commercial greenhouse operator would use for shrubs and vines, including esperanza. The pros have heated benches and mist or fog houses with 100 percent relative humidity. They will usually start with much smaller cuttings, and they may do their propagation at different times of the year.

Also, if you are propagating Gold Star Esperanza, please know that that is a plant that historically has been sold with a special tag indicating that it is a Texas SuperStar plant selection. Commercial growers are required to sell plants with that tag attached, and consumers should always look for it to be sure they’re getting the greatly improved form of the species Tecoma stans.

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