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Taking cuttings

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I have been a nurseryman on and off for 22 years . I was a manager in charge of a Medical records department in a District General Hospital but decided I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a bureaucracy.

I’d been thinking for a few years about what other jobs I could do and then I saw an item on Gardeners World showing how to take a cutting. I took one and it survived and I was hooked. The following year I left the NHS ,became a full time nurseryman and took 40000 mainly conifer cuttings.

4 years later my ex and I split up and I had to give up the nursery as our joint house was situated in the middle of the nursery and all had to be sold.

After that it took me about 8 years to get together enough capital to buy a place with a small piece of land (third of an acre) to start again as a nurseryman.

I’m now mainly a professional gardener and occasional garden designer (see my other blogs on gardens I maintain and/or designed) but I grow about 3000 perennial plants on my very small nursery more as a paid hobby than anything else.I love propagating plants. It never ceases to amaze be that you can chop off a bit of stem,stick it in a pot and more often than not it will grow!

Over the years I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of cuttings and have learened a few tricks of the trade(in particular from a very old nurseryman I met at the local plant auctions..see technique below)

Below are some photos and a bit of a “how to take cuttings guide” I know the experienced gardeners on here will know most of this stuff but I hope it will prove helpful to beginners. I apologise if there is a bit of repetition or the tense of sentences changes some times as I’ve pulled parts of this blog from stuff I have written elsewhere on my Flickr photos site

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31559373@N00/

and added new text on " Grows on you"

Any beginners who would like to ask any questions about this please feel free to do so and I’ll do my best to answer them

Above are some examples of cuttings .From left to right – Boulevard,fuchsia,Cotoneaster, unknown variety of conifer.

To give an idea of scale the blue boulevard is about 2.5 inches long

The stems should be firm but not too hard. Taking a thin sliver of “bark” off one side of the cutting will aid rooting as will using hormone rooting powder.Most shrubs can be propagated from cuttings between April and September in the UK. The best time for each varies by species.

Note: all the stems are cut just below a leaf joint and I usually remove the next couple of leaves above the base of the cutting. With big leaved cuttings I cut the leaves in half to reduce water transporation.( see second from left cutting) I push the cuttings into the potting compost so the foliage of the cutting is level with the surface of the compost.If the stems are soft use a pencil or dibber to create a hole and then firm the soil around the cutting

The cuttings should preferably be put in a mixture of 25% horticultural sand and 75% potting compost( 100% potting compost will work with many cuttings but the sand improves the % success rate)and well watered immediately but kept just damp thereafter until they root. Place preferably in a shaded coldframe or in a shady sheltered spot outside..

The above method of taking cuttings was shown to me by an elderly nurseryman many years ago. I find it extremely effective .

Take a 5 inch diameter pot . Add about 1.5 inches of standard potting compost in the bottom. Place a 3 inch pot inside it and fill around the edges with a mix of 25% horticultural sand mixed with 75% potting compost. Place the cuttings around the edge of the pot.(Make sure the cuttings are not pushed into the compost at the bottom of the pot but that the bottom of the cutting remains within the more sandy mix.

Place 6 -10 cuttings, depending on size of cutting , per pot, water well and place in a shady spot or ( preferably a cold frame) Keep the compost damp but not wet.

The pot within a pot method works well because the cuttings are not sitting in a large pool of very wet compost ,instead they are no further than about half an inch from the side of the pot. The roots ,when they form ,will rapidly fill the area of compost around the stem so it won’t become water logged and will grow down into the 100% (non sandy) compost at the bottom of the pot thus getting a good supply of nutrients and no check to their growth.

Using this method it is very easy to remove the cuttings once they are rooted as the roots track down the pot and tend not to get too entangled with the roots of other cuttings as they would if there was no small pot in the centre.

If the cuttings are to be kept in the big pot indoors over winter( as I do with hardy fuchsia cuttings) then as soon as the cuttings root the inner pot can be removed and the area filled with fresh compost. The cuttings will grow away happilly into this with no root disturbance and good size plants will be ready for potting on into seperate pots or the open ground in spring

Above : A 5 inch pot holds about 10 cuttings and a standard pot carrier will hold up to 80 cuttings.(Alot of cuttings in a very small area) The cuttings seem to do well because there is free drainage around the edges of the pot and as roots form they can move downwards into the richer compost so there is no check in their growth. With cuttings with broad leaves, cut half of them off to reduce water transporation as seen in this photo of weigela cuttings.

Below are the fuchsia cuttings in the pot second from the left in the top row in the previous photo about 12 weeks later.Although they are from a hardy variety I over winter them inside for the first year to ensure their survival. I will plant them out in May next year

.

Above : I took these cuttings of Verbena.bonariensis in late July. they formed roots within 3 weeks and you can just see new shoots appearing just below where I cut the tops off the cuttings to encourage bushy growth. There are 10 cuttings to a 13cm(5 inch) diameter pot .I put the pot into a shaded coldframe and water sparingly ,aiming to keep the compost just damp but not wet. Over watering kills far more cuttings than underwatering as the cuttings rot or develop other fungal problems.

Some people advise the “put the pot and cuttings in a sealed plastic bag” method. This is good for some cuttings but totally unnecessary with this plant. I do find a problem with rotting off using the bag methos so personaklly I never use it,preferring a shaded coldframe.

The cuttings are about 5 inches long and two inches or so of the stems with leaves removed are sunk into compost made up of 75% standard potting compost and 25% horticultural sand to improve drainage. I didn’t use rooting compound on these cuttings.

I shall pot these on into 7cm pots in another week or so and then if they survive the winter outdoors ( This is the first year I’ve done cuttings of this plant) I’ll pot them into 1 litre pots in Spring.

I only grow hardy stock on my nursery as I don’t want the expense or hassle of heated greenhouses.

Almost all my stock is left in pots outdoors all winter. A few very small cuttings are overwintered in an unheated coldframe and I do over winter 100 hardy fuchsias( 10 to a 1 litre pot) on an indoor windowsill as they’re not very hardy when very small.

Above : Cuttings taken as 4-5 inch in late July 8 weeks later (mid september) they are about 12 inches tall . They really need potting on into bigger pots as the colder weather will be upon us very soon but I’ve decided to leave them in this pot until next spring

Above : This home made DIY coldframe measures approximately 10 feet by 3 feet and holds 500 to 2000 cuttings depending on the method used.The total cost was,if my memory serves me well, about £25 although this might not have included the cost of all the timber.

To give more rigidity to the frame I added some vertical 2 inch by 2 inch struts to add strength as the main timbers are only about 3/4 inch thick and not really strong enough to nail directly together) The top of the frame is covered with polythene and painted with white emulsion paint on the underside. This gives good shade to the cuttings which would dry out very quickly in full sun. The polythene lasts 3-4 years. The cuttings in the foreground are boulevard in 7 cm pots and the cuttings in the green trays are rosemary.

Below is a photograph of some of the 10 coldframes I had in use when I was a full time nurseryman from 1988-1992

More blog posts by anchorman

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Comments

 

Thanks for this blog I found it of interest although I only take cuttings on a small scale, just to make another plant or a few to give away. Strangely I find it easier to have success with cuttings than I do with sewing seeds.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Funnily enough so do I. I've only fairly recently started to grow anything from seed.

26 Sep, 2010

 

I certainly get more of a buzz from cuttings that take to seeds that grow.

26 Sep, 2010

 

what a lovely blog anchorman. I too have used this pot in a pot method. an elderly lady [107yrs old and still going strong] showed me it over 25yrs ago.

26 Sep, 2010

 

This is very informative...packed with detail, AM. A lot to take in on the first reading but I can come back to it when the time comes for me to be able to take cuttings...early days yet.

Thanks, AM. I've recommended your post for GOYpedia (I think I've got the name right...put it under "cuttings")

26 Sep, 2010

 

Brilliant blog for novices at propagating, myself included ! This is going on to my Favourites, thanks so much. : o ))))

26 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks for all the positive comments and thanks Whistonlass for recommending me for Goypedia

26 Sep, 2010

 

Enjoyed the blog very much, and will certainly give it a go myself now.

26 Sep, 2010

bjs
Bjs
 

Excellent insight into your methods of propagation.Well worth reading.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Good stuff AM. Will definitely try this out, is it too late to take cuttings now ? I have 2 greenhouse's and can heat if necessary. Thanks for the info.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Lovely helpful blog A.M. I enjoyed reading it, and will certainly try this method myself and also pass your method onto my friend who takes a lot of cuttings.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks everyone :)

Littlelegs - It is a bit late for most softwood cuttings although some conifers will be OK but would probably not root properly until spring. Hard wood cuttings can be taken for the next month or so. A few fairly woody stems of perennials may well root now.

I normally stop taking cuttings in late August or very early September.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Great blog Anchorman.......gone onto faves too for future reading.....simple cold frame instructions too.......thanks for sharing your knowledge....:o))

26 Sep, 2010

 

I've made several small wooden cold frames for friends and relatives. It is quite easy and if you get a timber merchant to cut the wood to size it only requires a hammer and nails or for perhaps a stronger job ,a screw driver and screws.

Time to make a small frame say 2 feet by 4 is about an hour if the wood is already cut to size. An old window frame or preferably a piece of clear plastic sheeting will make a roof tied on or held on with a brick.

I use polythene but then it is also necessary to make a frame for this which takes almost as long to make as the base.

26 Sep, 2010

 

Lots of info. here -will add to favourites-Thanks for taking the time to do this.

26 Sep, 2010

 

I found your blog really interesting and informative. I will try the pot in pot method. I can see how this would work. Thanks for posting this.

27 Sep, 2010

phs
Phs
 

This article is very interesting. I have just started taking cutting this year and am delighted with the results. I need a cold frame now. What do you place it on the earth or a solid surface like paving stones?

27 Sep, 2010

 

I use a weed supressing membrane. It is a very hard wearing woven platic material which allows water through but not light or weeds. The stuff I'm using was bought in 1988 and parts of it have been open to the elements and walked on virtually every day since then and shows no sign of wear

27 Sep, 2010

 

Am...I've also recommended for GOYpedia under the category of coldframes. :)

27 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks Whiston.

I've been asked several times on other forums and by friends and customers about how to make a small coldframe. I might make one over winter and give step bt step instructions and photograph the process.

27 Sep, 2010

 

Great timing with this blog Anchorman, thank you. I've just been looking at the cuttings I took a few weeks ago (fuchsias, osteospermum mostly) and they don't look as if they've taken. Do you reckon it's worth having another go, or is it too late in the season?

27 Sep, 2010

 

This was so interesting Anchorman, I will certainly try the `pot within a pot` method and will also take cuttings from plants I mighn`t have tried before. Thank you. :o)

27 Sep, 2010

 

Thanks Labdancer.

Beattie It is worth a try now particularly with the osteospermum assuming you have the hardy variety.

Here's a link to 3 photos on my flickr site talking about osteospermum cuttings which you might find helpful..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31559373@N00/5002571066/

27 Sep, 2010

 

Thank you very much Anchorman, I'll try the pot in a pot method tomorrow. Perhaps a spot on a windowsill til there are some roots would help.

27 Sep, 2010

 

That may help them root but then you will have the problem of hardening them off if they are to go outside for the winter. Given that it is quite late in the year now I would probably put them straight outside. Generally I'm of the opinion that if they grow outside keep the cuttings outside ( or in an unheated coldframe)

Or perhaps you could do two pots and put one inside and one out and see how they go. If you do this I'd be interested to hear of the results.:)

27 Sep, 2010

 

Anchorman, I potted up many Penstemon cuttings 12 days ago, 5 per pot, would it be unwise to transfer them using the pot-in-a-pot method ? Best to leave them or not ?

28 Sep, 2010

 

I think I would leave them as they are. Best not to disturb them

28 Sep, 2010

 

Many thanks, Anchorman. I'll certainly use your method in the future though !

28 Sep, 2010

 

I've added this great blog to my favourites. Thanks Anchorman.
Best wishes
Linda

28 Sep, 2010

 

Superb blog. Also added to my favourites. Thank you. :o)

29 Sep, 2010

 

:)

29 Sep, 2010

 

Thankyou Anchorman I too am grateful for all your first class advice on taking cuttings. I found all your words and pictures very easy to follow and will be taking it from my "favourites" next year and giving it a go.

29 Sep, 2010

 

Thankyou Sue :)

29 Sep, 2010

 

I think its great that you've shared your knowledge Anchorman. Taking cuttings is so satisfying, my Dad taught me - such a valuable part of gardening.

29 Sep, 2010

 

Have been busy Aman and done 2 pots of cuttings of Artemisia and Cineraria with your double pot method....it was pelting down so hard that I've put them in the greenhouse for now.....will let you know how things develop....:o)

29 Sep, 2010

 

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Beware though, the two pot system is great but the amount of compost is small between the pots and can dry out very quickly.

29 Sep, 2010

 

Never seen this method before .I have a plant of hebe hulkiana which I've had no success with in the past I will try immediately,or do you think its a bit late now.I joined this group today and have already found out something new.Thanks

1 Oct, 2010

 

I notice you've snipped the leaves of your cuttings (like the fuschia and weigelia), why do you do that?

1 Oct, 2010

 

With plants that have quite large leaves compared to the size of the stem it is best to cut some of the leaves off. The reason for this is that plants lose water through their leaves. A cutting doesn't have roots so finds it difficult to replace lost water. Cutting off part of the leaves reduces the water loss and gives the curtting time to produce roots before water loss kills it.

1 Oct, 2010

 

I found your method of propagating cuttings very interesting,Anchorman...so,I have had a go today,and potted some Fuchsia cuttings up,by your method.
They look quite snug.so here's hoping.....I will let you know how they progress...:o))

1 Oct, 2010

 

It is getting a little late for hardy Fuchsia cuttings but with a bit of look they'll be OK . : ) I find the optimum time is mid August.

1 Oct, 2010

 

Yes,I knew it was getting a bit late,but managed to find some shoots that seemed suitable..not easy though,as most have already hardened...I am the eternal optimist,Anchorman.. ..nothing ventured,as they say..Lol.I have also brought the main plant into the conservatory now,so hopefully it will overwinter ok.,but will still put it outside during the day,if the weather is suitable.

1 Oct, 2010

 

With hardy fuchsias I find the thicker the cuttings and the harder the stems( as long as they're not woody) the better.

1 Oct, 2010

 

Great blog I've also added to favourites,thank you.

1 Oct, 2010

 

ooo thank you!! embarrassed cutting killer here - will study assiduously I promise =)

1 Oct, 2010

 

great blog Anchorman..i run a small nursery in pembrokeshire....i have been taking griselinia cuttings for the last two days...thank god its finished...now onto lampranthus cuttings..:-)

2 Oct, 2010

 

My nursery is very small now ( not much more than a paid hobby) so I rarely have more than 200 of any one variety of plant from which to take cuttings. Most things I just grow 100 per annum( Total all species/varieties is 2500-3000 per year)

I can't say I miss having to do thousands of the same thing...it in can get a bit dull.

I used to know a nurseryman who grew 300000 heather cuttings a year! That's 300000 one inch cuttings each of which had to have all the little shoots removed from the bottom half and then planted 100 to a seed tray and a few weeks later they all had to be potted on! It didn't seem to phase him but it would have driven me bonkers!

2 Oct, 2010

 

omg that would drive me crazy....i do about ten thousand a year..i have to do it a bit at a time..and get help for the big spring pot on...

2 Oct, 2010

 

When I was a full time nurseryman I used to do about 40000 plants a year.

That's about 400 per day for 20 weeks. I don't think I could fancy doing that now.

Like you I used to get some help with the potting on.

You might enjoy my blog dated 28th August showing the plant auctions where I sell most of my plants Sandra

2 Oct, 2010

 

An absolutely brilliant blog Anchorman, for both beginners and those who've done a few. May I take this opportunity to ask you a question? I have made a steel obelisk and want to plant a rose (Open arms) in it. I already have three of these roses and wonder if when I prune them I could simply place a cutting directly under the obelisk. Also when is the best time?

3 Oct, 2010

 

Thanks for you comments Heron

In theory hard wood cuttings of roses should take well, outdoors in autumn . The usual advice is to take 6-9 inch pencil thickness cuttings and bury them about one third in the ground(perhaps with some horticultural sand in the base of the hole to improve drainage)

i've tried this a few times myself without success but I do know of others who have been successful

It's certainly worth a try but remenber if the original rose was grsfted onto a root stock the cutting will be on its own roots so will not have the same strength of growth as the original.

3 Oct, 2010

 

Take your point about the rootstock AM but will give it a go, nothing to lose, Thanks.

4 Oct, 2010

 

It worked for me heron. my New Dawn rose came as a pencil thick twig from my mum's garden when she died. It took first time. It was taken in Dec and there were no leaves on it. dont know if that made a difference.

4 Oct, 2010

 

I am giving you a progress report on the Fuchsia cuttings I took,on the 1st October,by your method ,of planting.in a pot within a pot.I planted 6 cuttings,of a non hardy variety called Hollies Beauty...I am delighted to tell you,that they all appear to have taken already !.Two have even got very tiny buds on,which I have removed,and all have definite signs of new leaves...I almost need a magnifying glass to see them,but they are definitely there...its only 8 days since I did them,and they are on a shaded side of a Conservatory,so have the warmth....Absolutely brilliant,Anchorman..hope they continue to do well...Thanks so much for your advice...

9 Oct, 2010

 

Taken in 9 days! I'm amazed!

9 Oct, 2010

 

I can't believe it either,it seems almost impossible...Will post a pic,as..or if,they get bigger...I will be watching them like a hawk,and the temperatures too..

11 Oct, 2010

 

Thanks for this Anchorman...great blog....

2 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I had never heard of a pot- in -a- pot method of taking cuttings AM , that's something I shall deffinatley have to try ..thanks for that ...
I take rose cuttings in Sept .Heron , with some success I usually only take climbers , choose a 6/9 inch piece about as thick as a pencil with 4 good buds on it , cut the bottom level and the top sloped , that way you can tell which is top and bottom , leave the top two sets of leaves on , remove thorns as much as possible have a little sharp sand in the base put your cutting in up to the 3rd bud and second leaf which will be just above the ground surface , fill the hole ,tread it down firmly , the soil needs to be very firm , Good luck !

2 Nov, 2010

 

How long do they take to root
Amy?

2 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

They are usually well rooted by the next spring AM .. although I leave them until the autumn before I move them ....

2 Nov, 2010

 

I've tried your method a couple of times without success. Odd really because I'm usually very successful with cuttings.

Is it too late to try now?

3 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

Thats strange Alan , I usually put them in a row 6" apart with just the top two sets of leaves showing ... like you if they are big leaves I cut them in half , I do them Sept / oct but if the stems look young and healthy with side buds showing I would try it now , we haven't had really freeezing weather yet , give it a go you have nothing to lose , firm the soil down again after heavy winter frosts .. loose soil is a common factor in losing the plants ... good luck .. .. you can soon tell if you are losing a cutting because the top cut off part starts to go black and looks dead !

3 Nov, 2010

 

I think I've always done it in mid november in the past. That may be why it hasn't worked although the books do say to do it in late autumn. I wuill try again now but if that fails I'll try again in September next year.

3 Nov, 2010

 

Now, this is the blog I came to see. Shirley Tulip was mentioning it on her comments. I will put it on my favourites for future reference. Anchorman, do you do standards? I have just created a shade potted garden and I bought a new standard bay to go in it, and then a new standard holly. I had a standard cherry laurel already, so that's in there too. It has kind of got me into the mood for creating my own standards. I have a Wisteria in there which I am trying to train into a standard, but I don't really know what I am about! Perhaps if you could do a blog showing us how to create a Standard......I would be ever so grateful!! :))))

11 Nov, 2010

 

I've grown a couple of standards in the past but I don't claim to be an expert :0)

11 Nov, 2010

 

Oh, oh well! Thanks for replying anyway! I'll go and have a look. There might be something on the website already!

11 Nov, 2010

 

Amazing blog..takes me back to college days when we took cuttings of conifers..I had forgotten..definitely one for favs. Thanks Anchorman.

11 Nov, 2010

 

Thanks Tetrarch

11 Nov, 2010

 

I remember reading this blog, back in September when you first posted it, but I forgot all about the pot-in-pot method of rooting cuttings! :-(( Now, like others, I've saved it for future reference in my favourites.

I often take a few cuttings of Fuchsias & Geraniums as well as other flowers. My success rate is about 75% - which is often far more than I really need. I rooted a lot - for me! - of Geraniums from council beds just a couple of days before they were all pulled up & carted off, probably made into compost by now!

I have some rooted cuttings of Fuchsias on my balcony but many have not taken. I will see if I can remember to use this pot-in-pot method next year.

I have two standard Fuchsias about 7 or 8 years old still growing on my balcony & I have another couple of small ones growing. They were all taken from my own cuttings & I've grown them all on my balcony. The two old ones have 1m (3ft) clear stems up to the first branches so they stick out over the top of the railings that surround the balcony.

20 Nov, 2010

 

Hi,

I have taken some cuttings of various plants this yer for the fist time, and need advice on pines and conifers, how long do these evergreens take to root? I heard that they may never do (they seem quite healthy at the moment given the weather this year)

I have used your sand/compost combo advice - thank you for that!

11 Feb, 2011

 

Evergreen conifers vary from rooting quickly and easily to very slowly or hardly at all.

It depends also a great deal on when they're taken and sibsequent care( outdoors,in a plastic bag,coldframe,misting untit etc

Conifers taken in late autumn often take until late spring to root. Some like Chamaecyparis boulevard taken in May-July can root as quickly as 3 weeks.

As long as they're still green ,kept in a bit of shade and just damp not soaking wet most will root sooner or later.

11 Feb, 2011

 

Thanks for all the advice Anchorman . . fantastic. Can't wait to give it a try: what's the earliest I can start, with for example, Pieris? or maybe Nandina??

15 Feb, 2011

 

Oh yes Sheilabub, would love to take cuttings of my pieris..also Anchorman, I have a huge hellebore that needs making smaller and everywhere Ive looked they warn against division. Now all these new varieties must have to be divided because seeds dont always come true..and they wittered on about peonies, but I dont have a problem with them. Do you reckon I should chop a bit off with my spade and replant elsewhere?

15 Feb, 2011

 

I'd give it a try Tetrarch. They may not flower for a year or two but I see no reason why they would die.

Never tried Nandina ,Sheila, and it is a long time since I took Pieris but from memory I think early summer is a good time for Pieris

15 Feb, 2011

 

Thank you AM. I will curb my impatience . . .

16 Feb, 2011

 

Hi Anchorman, I've just been reading through your blog again, because this morning I took multiple cuttings of Jasmine 'clotted cream', Sambucus nigra, Acer 'flamingo' and Pittosporum. They are round the sides of 4" pots containing 75% potting compost, 25% silver sand, and I've put them into a sheltered cold frame.

My OH and I are arguing(!) over whether to leave the lid open or closed! He wants it open, but I'm afraid that they may get too wet . . . it is against a north-east facing wall of the house, so he feels that they won't get much rain. I'd be very grateful for your informed opinion, even if it means I am wrong (again). Thanks.

7 Aug, 2011

 

Personally I'd keep the coldframe closed... that way you can determine exactly how much water they get.

I do get good results with some plants in the open directly in the soil but I have a very light loam

Except for the sambucus nigra I've not grown the other plants on your list so I don't know how easy they'll be. I suspect getting an acer to take will be difficult. I succeeded with the sambuccus but the success rate was low.

7 Aug, 2011

 

Thank you Am for your prompt reply . . . now all I have to do is persuade OH!

7 Aug, 2011

 

Brilliant blog Anchorman - should be required reading for every would-be gardener. Thank you! I discovered the joys of cuttings last year, and now the place is a mass of little pots!

5 Jun, 2012

 

Is it so long ago this was posted ? I left a comment at the beginning of it,Anchorman,about how quickly my Fuchsia cuttings rooted ..four out of six,survived,and made a lovely display last year...they overwintered well inside..so did the same again..and good results this year too...I can highly recommend this method,Gattina :o)

5 Jun, 2012

 

I shall certainly be giving it a whirl!

5 Jun, 2012

 

go for it girl..it's a great tip..good luck :o)

5 Jun, 2012

 

And such fun when it works!

5 Jun, 2012

 

It was wonderful - all those new plants, FREE!

5 Jun, 2012

 

Hi AM I have read the above articles and comments, I am keen to try this, but will try using the shed as opposed to a cold frame.
My first testers are Pittosporum and Pieris.
Will kiln dried sand do or does it have to be horticultural?
I was also advised to use ericaceous soil for my pieris is this the same with cuttings?
The rest is a "give it a go" would you suggest using different pots for different plant types?
any advice would be gratefully received
Thanks

22 Aug, 2012

 

The shed will do only if there's plenty of light. I'm sorry I don't know whether kiln dried sand would be acceptable as I've never tried it. Horticultural sharp sand is really what you need. You can get a small bag quite cheaply from a DIY shed.

I use the same size and type of pots for all my cuttings. ie either 7cm plastic pots for those I wish to individually pot up or one litre pots with a 3 inch pot inside ( as per the photo above) when I want 7 -10 per pot. I have read that clay pots can be more effective but I've taken thousands of cuttings over the years and never bothered with them.

Really I think the four factors that matter when taking a cutting are when the cutting is taken, choosing the right cutting material, getting the compost mix correct and watering. The size and type of pot may have some effect but not that much( although I do find the pot within a pot method increases the success rate)

I would suggest ericaceous compost for pieris might be best but I've had success with normal potting compost

22 Aug, 2012

 

Anchorman, Ive a very vigorous Pieris could u advise me on best material? And how often to water? I really muck stuff up over the watering. I was thinking of a few in a bigger pot because small pots need watering daily..if not hourly!! lol! Unheated green house is all I have.

22 Aug, 2012

 

This is very good on taking pieris cuttings Tetrarch.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_8725906_propagate-pieris.html

I think you may be over doing the watering. My aim with all cuttings is not to let the compost dry out but not to have it soaking wet all the time.

This can usually be achieved by giving an initial thorough soaking and then leaving it until the compost is nearly dry and then soaking again.

The key is not to have soaking wet compost all the time as this encourages rotting in the cutting.

22 Aug, 2012

 

Ok Anchorman, it probly means I have to keep a close eye and not be so erratic!!! When I get busy I tend to forget what day it is and I have so many plants in pots I also forget that the odd one or three dont always get the water! Also tend to forget the odd batch..must grow a new brain lol! Shall I wait til spring or go for woodier cuttings now?

24 Aug, 2012

 

Actually if Im truthful, I dont need to be busy to forget which day it is!!!

24 Aug, 2012

 

I'd try some cuttings now

24 Aug, 2012

 

Thank you for the pot-within-pot method. I'm fairly new to cuttings - started last year with geraniums and was very encouraged by a little success and decided to give this method a try with a variety of shrub/perennial cuttings. So far, everything has taken!

I enjoyed reading your blog. Will you be adding to it?

5 Aug, 2013

 

I'm glad you've had such a lot of success. I do find the pot in a pot method the most reliable

I may add further stuff to the blog but nothing comes to mind at the moment!

5 Aug, 2013

 

I've just come across this blog and may try and use this method when I try and take some cuttings in the future. Many thanks for this, it will be a great help.

1 Nov, 2014

 

Anchorman et al, found this very helpful as beginner and trying to get results without too much hassle, many thanks, Taurman

23 Nov, 2014

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