General Propagation & Step-By-Step Guide
Propagating from cuttings is taking a section of stem, leaf or root from a parent plant and manipulating it to create a new plant. Since the reproduction is asexual, the new plant is genetically identical to the parent and is often referred to as a clone. In this way, a favorite perennial can be reproduced over and over at minimal cost to the propagator and the plants will have exactly the same desired characteristics. Of course a propagated clone will also have the same defects as the parent. Propagation of this type also hampers genetic diversity.
Types of Stem Cuttings:
Herbaceous Cuttings are cut from the new growth of non-woody plants. They can be taken from new growth at any time during their growing season. Water the parent plant about 1 hour before taking cuttings.
Softwood, semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings are taken from woody plants.
Softwood or Greenwood Cuttings are taken from new growth, usually in mid to late spring or early summer before the wood has matured. This is one of the easiest methods and can be used for many kinds of plants including a wide variety of trees and shrubs.
Semi-hardwood Cuttings are taken from new growth usually in late summer after stems have grown somewhat, but are not yet fully mature.
Hardwood Cuttings are taken usually in late fall through mid winter when the wood is dormant. These cuttings should be misted daily to keep the buds and newly forming foliage from drying out and to keep the soil or growing medium moist but not soggy. Watering is especially important during dry periods.
Taking Stem Cuttings:
The best cutting materials come from the parts of a plant that are growing, since the hormones that stimulate growth are produced in the new leaves and tips. While it is wise to look for the newest growth to take cuttings from, stems that have flowers or flower buds do not make good cuttings. Roots develop more easily from the bottom portion of the stem, i.e., the bottom node. Sharp pruners or scissors should be used to take cuttings so that the parent plant suffers less damage and thus is more protected from diseases entering the cuts. Avoid taking cuttings during the hot time of the day.The best time is early morning or late afternoon. Cut about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch above a leaf node, depending on the size and kind of plant. Protect the cuttings from dehydration by wrapping them in paper towels, grass or any moist material and putting them in a plastic bag, if possible, away from sunlight.
Quick 3 Step Water Propagation Guide
- Take your cuttings with a minimum of 3-4 leaves by snipping at a node (where the leaf meets the stem). Feel free to take multiple cuttings from the same plant or vine.
- Remove the bottom leaf while keeping 1-2 top leaves. When possible, you should have 2 bottom nodes submerged as it increases the number of roots developing.
- Take your cuttings, fill up the bulbs with water and patiently wait until your roots have grown to about 1 inch or 2.5 cm before transferring to soil.
Make sure to checkout all of our lovely propagation stations for your next propagation project!