Have you wished you could grow a few of your own plants from cuttings, but didn’t know how? Here’s the answer. A simple, step-by-step guide showing you how to prepare a cutting and set it so it will produce roots. As with anything, there are many variations on growing from cuttings, and some plants require different treatment – but this method will work for most. Try it and see!
Tools you’ll need:
- A nice and clean, sharp pair of secateurs
- Sharp and clean knife
- Rooting hormone (normally available from any garden centre)
- A tray filled with sand/peat – nothing with fertiliser in it!
Take the cutting from the stock/mother plant. Remember that the healthier the stock plant, the healthier your new plant from the cutting will be. The cutting will ideally be a young shoot – but not too young. Do a quick ‘bend’ test to see where to make the cut – if it snaps clean in half, then you’re too low down, and if it doesn’t snap at all then you’re too close to the tip. What you’re looking for is a partial break, where the stem will be semi-hard.
If the cutting is long, as in the photo above, break it down into smaller cuttings. A typical cutting is between 50-100mm in length.
Trim excess leaves off until there is just two or three remaining. This is to reduce transpiration from the leaves and help keep the stem moist (but not wet) while new roots form. Leave the lowest node – this will be dealt with in the next step
With a sharp knife, slice the lowest node off, leaving a cut face that looks like this. It should be just deep enough to expose the cambium layer of tissue, but no more.
Dip the cut end into your rooting hormone. A powdered form is shown here, but gel works just as well.
Set the cutting into your tray of growing medium
Keep your cuttings moist (but not wet) and warm while they form new roots. This can be achieved with a dome or a mist system. Humidity reduces the water use and supplies water to the growing plant. Optimum air temperature is around 20deg, but no more than 25deg. Also avoid direct sunlight as it will try and put more energy into foliage growth than new roots.
When they have formed fresh roots, you can pot them up into a 5-7cm square container, and keep growing them into a mature plant!
Keep it green
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