How the Butcher’s Broom reproduces
The butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus L.) is an evergreen shrub of the Asparagaceae family.
The butcher’s broom is a plant that forms bushes up to about 80 cm tall, common in the woods up to about 800 meters.
This plant, renowned for its astringent and diuretic properties, is considered the wild relative of the common asparagus, with which it shares some culinary uses.
The butcher’s broom is grown as an ornamental plant, especially as a decoration during the Christmas holidays. The butcher’s broom sprouts, with a bitter taste, collected from March to May, are used in the kitchen like asparagus, boiled for salads, soups and omelettes.
In this sheet we will see how this plant multiplies while as regards the cultivation techniques, see the following sheet.
The butcher’s broom can be multiplied by seed, by division of the tufts or by cutting of the lateral shoots.
Propagation by seed –
Propagation by seed is a technique that takes a very long time as the seeds are protected by a protective covering that leads them to germinate after months. The sowing operation must be performed in a humid and warm soil. After a period of about 4 months, when the shoots are clearly visible, the seedbed should be moved outdoors to allow the young seedlings to be strengthened. After about three weeks, also depending on the climatic trend, the plants can be planted permanently.
Propagation by tufts –
This multiplication technique is the most adopted also for its simplicity and speed of obtaining already formed seedlings.
To be sure of a good engraftment it is good to carry out the division of the tufts using a sharp and disinfected knife. The operation must be performed during the winter.
The tufts obtained are then put to root, preferably, in a mixture of sand and peat (2: 1), waiting a few weeks for perfect rooting to take place.
Propagation by cuttings –
Propagation by cuttings is carried out by taking portions of lateral shoots of the plant, 8 – 10 cm long and placing them in the same mixture of sand and peat as mentioned above; the operation must be performed in the period of September or March.
The butcher’s broom must be planted in spring or autumn. To favor the rooting and harmonious development of the rhizome, autumn is generally preferred, especially if the climate is mild. In mountainous regions, the planting must be done in spring instead.
It is advisable to prepare holes as wide and as deep as three times the bread of earth. At the bottom of the holes it is advisable to put draining material, after which the young seedlings are placed, covered with more organic soil than the rooting one and compacted slightly.
In all stages of propagation the substrate must be kept constantly humid but avoiding any possible stagnation.