Cuttings

Cuttings

10 of the easiest plants to take cuttings from – anyone can get these to grow!

Here is a list of what I believe to be the easiest plants to grow from cuttings, there are a few general rules, and then I have listed some specific information for different plants. In general:

  • Taller plant pots are better for most cuttings if you are going to use pots, but all the plants below will root in the ground(You’ll need good soil for geraniums)
  • All these plants will grow without rooting compond.
  • Keep compost moist, but not too wet
  • If you’re growing in plant pots and you have some gravel, put a handful in the bottom to improve drainage, if you haven’t got gravel, you’re cuttings will probably take anyway.
  • If you want to grow several cuttings in the same pot, use a 50/50 mix of compost and sand, it will make it much easier to untangle the roots when you move cuttings to their own pots.
  • Sometimes cuttings look like they have failed and then a year later they root and have leaves. If all the leaves full off your cutting, don’t worry it will probably still grow more. Pull any leaves off that look unhealthy, but try and always leave one.
  • Sometimes cuttings look live they have worked, and they haven't! Sometimes a cutting will sprout a few leaves and then you attempt to re-pot it and it has no roots.

10. Geranium

The hardest of the 10, and ;still relatively easy, you need some good compost and piece of a geranium plant that has not flowered. Leave the top 2 leaves on your cutting, carefully remove the rest and poke into compost, make sure the compost remains moist.

9. Box Hedge

Box is incredibly expensive, it’s not because it is difficult to grow, but because it takes a long time to grow – so start now! You only need a 10cm piece of cutting material, place several of these in a 7.5cm pot. When taking box cuttings you need to keep them moist between cutting and planting so put them in a freezer bag that has some water in it. Take cuttings in the autumn and place pots in the shade, the cuttings should have routed by late spring.

8 Honey Suckle

Easy to get going, but like box it grows very slowly (though not quite as slowly as box). Like all cuttings roots will form at the points of former leaf nodes, if you take a stem of the original plant that is about 1m long and flexible, you can remove most of the leaves from it and coil the cutting material into a pot while filling with compost, the idea is that you will have a lot of leaf nodes below the surfaces at different levels which should result in a thick and strong root structure. When the plant has established, dig a large hole; half fill with compost and then put your Honey suckle in the hole, fill around with compost, and your honey suckle should grow much quicker than one that you bought at a nursery.

7 Grape Vine

These are very easy to get going, and of course you’re guaranteed to get the same flavor and variety as the parent plant. Hard wood cuttings are the best way to go, I’ve tried it with green cuttings, but you have to immerse them in water until you see roots, and your supposed to change the water every day, it’s just too much effort. Even if I had been disciplined enough to change the water everyday, I doubt they would be able to push their delicate little roots into our hard clay soil. So, for hard wood cuttings you need 15-20cm of growth that is slightly thinker than a pencil, we’re going to plant loads of these because I only get a 30% success rate, and if I get too many I can always give them away. So my technique is to make a diagonal cut above a leaf node, then count 4 leaf nodes back and make a straight cut just after it. So the piece of cutting material should have 4 leaf notes on it, with a flat end and pointed end. Then we take the cutting to the planting location, and push the flat end into the ground, ensuring that the 3rd leaf node is just below the surface. The purpose of the diagonal cut is just to show us which way to place the cutting in the ground, when we take several cuttings. Grape vine cuttings are supposed to be taken at the end of the season or in the spring. So this year I am going to take some in the middle of summer, we will see what happens ...

6 Lilac

Our Lilac had grown to about 4 meters tall, it was too big, the gardening books said to chop down 2O% of the tall branches every year, which I did for 2 years and now we are getting plenty of new growth which is ideal cutting material.

5 Budlia

Budlia grows easily from seed, but if you want to ensure that you get the same color flowers as the parent plant then grow from a cutting. Find a piece of hard wood 30 - 40 cm long, pull the leaves off the bottom half of it and poke in the ground, February to April are the best times to do this.

4 Forsythia

Fast growing, can reach 2 metres in height in 3 or 4 years, Take 60 cm cuttings, remove leaves from bottom 30 cm and push into ground, if the ground is hard use a large screwdriver to make a hole in the ground to push the cutting material into, this will prevent the cutting from snapping. If you're going to plant this as a hedge then plant at 10cm spacings.

3. Sage

Pull on a woody stem of sage, and chances are it will leave the ground with some root on it, which you can place in a pot of compost (this isn’t really a cutting, it’s more of a division). If you don’t get any root then don’t worry, as with all cuttings, just remove half the leaves and place in a pot of moist compost.

2. Mint

Like sage above, If you pull a sprig of mint out of an established mint plant, then it is like that you will pull some roots out with it, if you get lucky and have some root, then you can just plant that and it should start growing very quickly. If you don’t get any root then just remove half the leaves and push into a pot.

1. Rosemary

This has to be the easiest plant in the world to grow from cuttings, cut off a 15 cm length put the leaves of the bottom 10cm and poke into the ground, it takes a few months to root, plant it in the winter and your plant should be growing properly in the summer, it will tolerate the worst soils and can grow quite high so it can be used as a hedge.

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