Gardening > Taking Cuttings

Taking Cuttings

Taking Cuttings

Taking Cuttings
© Emmric
& Dreamstime.com

An old friend of mine never used to go anywhere without a pair of nail scissors and a plastic bag. This was so she could take cuttings from any shrub or plant in gardens or parks she visited. This practice is much frowned upon now for obvious reasons but the fact remains that popagation is a cost free alternative (with the permission of the gardener) to buying expensive plants from garden centres. The methods of propagation, which are different for various types of plant, enable you to increase the stock in your garden and to swap plants with friends and neighbours.


Softwood Cuttings

This method is best for geraniums, fuchsias, perstemons and some house plants.

Time

Late spring/early summer.

Method

Cut 1 1/2" - 3" side shoot cutting just below a leaf joint.
Remove the lower leaves.
Dip in rooting hormone.
Plant in rock wool cubes or cutting compost.
Place in a propagator at 65 degrees F. OR place in pots in inflated plastic bags and set on a warm (not in direct sunlight) window sill.
Rooting should take place within 4 weeks.


Semi-ripe Heeled Cuttings

Hardy shrubs and conifers.

Time

Mid-summer/mid autumn.

Method

Pull a maturing side shoot (that is becoming woody at the base) from the parent stem. These should be 1" for heaths and heathers and up to 4" for conifers.
Pare back the heel of bark to about 1/8" from the base of the cuttings.
Dip in rooting powder or liquid.
Plant in rock wool cubes or gritty compost.
Place in closed cold frame and mist daily OR place in pots in plastic bags on a warm but slightly shaded windowsill.




Hardwood Cuttings

Willow, dogwood, privet and many hardy shrubs, gooseberries, white and black currants.

Time

October.

Method

Cut 8" - 10" current-year fully mature shoots.
Make a gently sloping cut just above a top bud.
Make a horizontal cut below ajoint at the bottom.
Dig a thin trench 4" - 6" apart to half their length.
Firm soilaround them by treading.
Re-firm soil if frost lifts cuttings.
Move cuttings to final home the following autumn.