Growing more of your favourite plants from cuttings is a brilliant way to re-stock your garden for free this summer. Read our Gardening Angels’ top tips on how and when to take cuttings.
There are several types of cuttings that use different kinds of stems, but you can treat them pretty much the same way.
Softwood Cuttings (Spring to Early Summer)
Fresh, new growth, from spring to early summer. Summer bedding plants, such as Fuchsias, Geraniums and Petunias root well from softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings are the quickest type of cutting to root.
Semi-Ripe Cuttings (Late Summer to Early Autumn)
These are tougher and more mature. They're usually taken from mid-summer to early autumn. Evergreen shrubs such as camellia, Mahonia and Viburnum often root well from semi-ripe cuttings. Overwinter indoors ready for planting or potting in the following season.
Hardwood Cuttings (Mid-Autumn to Late Winter)
Although beyond the summer, these are taken from woody stems that have gone dormant in late autumn or winter. Trees and shrubs such as mock orange and viburnum often root well. Hardwood cuttings take the longest to root.
Cut at a 45° angle with a sharp knife or scalpel just below a leaf node.
Remove any flowers and lower leaves.
If you’re planning on rooting cuttings in our Hydropod Cuttings Propagator, place your cutting into a sponge disc (and optional mesh pot) before adding it to the tray.
Faster Healthier Rooting
If rooting cuttings in compost, fill a 10cm pot with free-draining compost, level the compost out and gently firm it down.
Use a dibber to make a hole in the compost and insert the cutting. Place it in a heated propagator with the lid on and a temperature set to between 18-24°C.
Place in a bright place but not in direct sunlight. Covering with horticultural fleece will help to diffuse strong sunlight.
Cuttings will take longer to develop roots in soil than in a misting propagator. Make sure that the soil is moist throughout this time, but take care not to over-water as rotting is a common problem.
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