Taking cuttings is a fantastic way to make new plants from the ones that are already in your garden. It’s called ‘propagating’ and it means to grow a plant from the stem of another plant. It’s inexpensive and it’s fun!
It’s best to take cuttings when the plant isn’t flowering and when there is nice new growth such as at the beginning of spring. Plants that are sick or stressed will probably not produce very good cuttings.
YOU WILL NEED:
Plants for taking cuttings (see below for ideas)
1 coco peat brick
1 bag of perlite
Hormone gel or powder
Secateurs or scissors
Plastic 2 litre drink bottle with the bottom cut off.
Label and texta
- Prepare the soil, called propagating mix, that the cuttings will go into. In a bucket, mix one pot full of moist coco peat and one pot full of dampened perlite.
- Collect some long stems from the plant that you are going to propagate and put them in a bucket of water. This will keep them fresh.
- Fill a pot with with the propagating mix and water it lightly.
- Pour a little of the hormone gel into an egg cup or small lid.
- To take the cutting, cut a piece off the top of the plant stem that is about 10 centimetres long.
- Look closely at the stem to find the nodes close to where you have cut. Recut the stem just below the node.
- Gently strip the lower leaves off the cutting so that only the top half still has leaves on it. This will expose more nodes which is where the roots will grow from.
- Use a pencil to make a hole in the propagating mix in the pot.
- Dip the end of the stem where you cut into the hormone gel; not too much though.
- Carefully put the cutting in the hole so that the leaves are still above the surface.
- Press the soil gently around the stem so that the cutting stands up on its’ own.
- Repeat this process until each pot has about 6 cuttings in it.
- Write the name of the plants on the label and place in the pot.
- Place the drink bottle over the top just like a mini hothouse.
- Put the pot in a warm protected area like the side of the house. Don’t put them in the sun or they might cook!
- In just a few weeks the cuttings will have new growth. At this stage, remove the drink bottle.
- In a few more weeks new leaves will grow and if you pull gently on the cuttings it won’t come out because the roots will be holding it in to the soil. At this stage the plants can be potted in to larger pots of their own in good quality potting mix.
EASY PLANTS TO GROW FROM CUTTINGS: