Tuesday, 8 June 2010

How to propagate by taking cuttings from shrubs and herbaceous plants


From June to July is the time to take cuttings from decidious shrubs.

For evergreen shrubs it is from August to September.

How to proceed:

Cut off a strong, non flowering shoot of this year's growth, about 15 cm in length.

Cut off the end of the shoot to just 5mm under a leaf. Remove all the leaves on the shoot, except for two to three terminal leaves. If the terminal leaves are too big, reduce the surface area by half.

Choose a pot of 8/10 cm in diameter. Fill it with a mixture of sand and peat. Make a hole with a stick and slide in the cutting right up to the lowest leaf. Firm in the soil around the cutting, moisten it by using a sprayer.

Cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle, place over the pot. Make sure you lift of the plastic bottle once a day to bring in some fresh air, till the arrival of new leaves. Keep watering to a minimum. The pots should be kept in a sheltered, frost free environment. After 1 to 2 years the shrub is ready to be planted out.

Herbaceous plants:

Towards the end of August, cut off a principal or lateral shoot, 6 to 10 cm in length. The shoot should still be soft and green. It is preferable to take shoots that have not flowered or are in bud, if you cannot find a shoot without flowers or buds, remove all flowers and buds as you prepare the cutting.

Cut off the end of the shoot to 3 mm under a pair of leaves. Dip the shoot in hormone powder, flick off the excess.

Fill a small pot with a mixture of sand and peat. Make a hole with a stick and slide in the cutting up to the bottom leaves. Firm in the soil gently around the cutting.

Make sure the cuttings are well watered. Cover them. They should be kept out of direct sunlight. In autumn when they've formed roots, repot them in a mixture of 2/3 compost and 1/3 garden earth.

Overwinter them in a frost free environment. In spring they are ready to be planted out.

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