Taking cuttings

The process of taking cuttings allows you to grow a replica of the parent plant. Various parts of the plant—shoots, roots, and leaves— can be used for this purpose; which part you choose depends on the nature of that particular plant.
The most efficient method of propagating shrubs is to take cuttings of the shoots (stem cuttings). Inserted into a prepared medium, these will root at the base, and a replica of the parent will grow. Cuttings can be taken at different times and from shoots at different stages of development.
Softwood cuttings
These are the youngest shoots, from which cuttings are taken from the tips in spring and early
summer. These cuttings tend to root more easily than other types, so this method is widely used for plants that arc difficult to propa¬gate from mature cuttings. Humidity, warmth, and moisture are very important during the rooting period, and a closed prop¬agating case is therefore advised.
Semi-ripe cuttings
These are taken in late summer or early autumn from the current year’s growth. They do not root as
readily as softwood cuttings, but their survival rate is better, as they are less inclined to wilt.
Hardwood cuttings
These are taken in autumn or winter, when the shoots are about a year old, and are rooted outdoors or in a cold frame. They will not root readily unless hormone rooting powder is applied to the wound; root formation can be slow, but most cuttings will have rooted by the following spring.
TAKING SOFTWOOD CUTTINGS
A wide range of plants including buddlejas, forsythias, weigelas, and many others —will root very quickly and easily from softwood cuttings, many of them forming new roots in just a few weeks.
1 Collect the stem tips—which are the fastest-growing part—and store them in a moist plastic bag.
2 Fill a container with an open, free-draining compost and firm it down, tapping the tray to level it.
3 Trim the stem base to below a node (leaf joint) and remove the lower (eaves.
4 Dip the stem into rooting powder and insert it into the compos! to just below its lowest leaves. Water.
This technique is suitable for propagating a wide range of deciduous trees, shrubs, and bush fruits. It is probably the simplest and cheapest method of propagating plants from cuttings.
1 Prepare the ground by forking it over and roughly leveling it, before adding a base dressing o) general-purpose fertilizer.
2 Cover the soil with black plastic, burying the edges. Insert the tines of a fork vertically through the plastic into the soil.
3 Remove healthy current-season shoots. Trim into 10-in. lengths, making the top cut above a bud and the bottom cut below.
4 Gently push the cuttings, base first, vertically through the holes in the plastic into the soil below, with the bottom two-thirds in the soil.

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One Response to Taking cuttings

  1. Interested says:

    Have you tried the Smart Pot? You can learn about it at http://www.smartpots.com

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