Propagation via Stem Cuttings

It's fun to create new plants from some of your favourites and the easiest way is via stem cuttings. There are different methods depending upon the type of plant you wish to propagate which I have detailed in the table below. I have also set out a number of simple tips to help ensure success with your cuttings.

SOFTWOOD
Frost-sensitive shrubs, perennials, shrubby perennials
SEMI-RIPE
Evergreen shrubs, shrubby perennials
HARDWOOD
Deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers; evergreen shrubs
When best to take cutting Spring Late summer/early autumn Late autumn/winter
Length of cutting 8-10 cm (growing tip) 10-15 cm 25-30 cm - 2/3 of the length should be buried when potted
Propagating medium A sterile, open and free-draining mix such as perlite and hydrated cocopeat A sterile, open and free-draining mix such as perlite and hydrated cocopeat Mix like perlite and hydrated cocopeat or normal potting mix - or directly in ground
Use of rooting aids - hormone powders and gels, honey, willow water etc Not really necessary Can be useful Can be useful
Propagating environment High humidity needed, so place pot in clear plastic tub with lid, or cover with old drink bottle or plastic bag - keep in light shade High humidity useful so place pot in clear plastic tub with lid, or cover with old drink bottle or plastic bag - keep in light shade Keep in lightly shaded spot; not necessary to cover if it is a deciduous cutting. Keep well watered
Speed of root development Fast Medium Slow
Other points to note When collecting cuttings, keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool place as they wilt easily, which hinders root formation. Pot them up as soon as possible. Use of heat below the pot of cuttings will accelerate rooting Can be useful to take a heel of wood from the main stem if a side shoot is used for the cutting. Alternatively, make a wound by removing a 2-3 cm sliver of bark from one side of base of cutting Useful to make a wound by removing a 2-3 cm sliver of bark from one side of base of cutting. When taking the cuttings, cut the bottom end of the cutting straight across and the top on a slant, so you know which way up to plant them!

Propagation mix and equipment

Collecting your cutting material

Taking the cutting

Care of the cuttings

Potting cuttings on