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Growing plants from cuttings.


This year, I decided to have a go at taking cuttings from various plants in my garden. I had tried Penstemons last year both in water and in compost. The potted ones were a disaster, but the ones in water were a 100% success, so that’s where I started.

You can just see the roots starting to develop on the prepared cuttings. This takes about 4 weeks. After another few weeks, the rootballs are big enough to pot the cuttings up.

Some weeks later, the plants are potted on and are kept under cover until spring when they are hardened off and planted out. They will flower the same year.

This is Penstemon’Geoff Hamilton’.

I had tried growing Verbena bonariensis from seed unsuccessfully, and another member told me that V.bon cuttings are easy, so I tried – and they were!

I started them in a mixture of grit, vermiculite and seed compost, with a plastic bag supported by sticks over them. The bag was turned inside out and the cuttings misted every few days. I potted them up when the roots showed through the pot’s holes.

Verbena ’Seabrook’s lavender’ cuttings also rooted easily in the same mix.

Verbena rigida and V.‘Aztec Pearl’ have rooted, but aren’t ready to pot up yet.

In the summer, I had two beautiful maroon Osteospermum plants with other plants in a tub. I tried taking cuttings from them, with limited success. I have one healthy looking plant out of three cuttings – the others sadly rotted. Let’s be positive – I’ve got one!

I’ve taken other cuttings from Helianthemum and Lavandula Stoechas, and they aren’t ready to pot up yet, but seem to have rooted. Fingers crossed!

What have you tried this year, and have you succeeded?

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Hi Spritz, I tried to take some herb cuttings a month ago and have been meaning to give an update on how it went. I didn't have a very planned approach, I just took cuttings of various herbs, split my chives and put everything in compost. The Chives have thrived after being split. I really had to tear the roots apart and was worried I'd damaged them. The cuttings I took of lavender and rosemary look alive (ish) but I wouldn't say they've been a success and they don't appear to have sent out roots. The thyme and curry leaf cuttings both look OK, but they're don't appear to be growing. The oregano failed miserably and got thrown away 2 weeks ago. I've just been to give a close inspection and have found I have thousands of little aphids all over my cuttings, not just bad for the plants - the cuttings (and now bugs) are in the lounge!

3 Nov, 2007


Excellent blog. I find penstemmon do very well as cuttings planted in a shady spot outdoors in a light soil. The thicker and firmer the stem the better so long as it isn't woody. Try banking about 2 inches of soil up aroundthe base of established plants. The stems layer into this really easily and can be pulled off roots and all and you have an instant plant. This method works really well with coreopsis and osteospermum and probably many other perennials.

Winter flowering heathers can be propagated by spreading some potting compost over a decent sized plant , shaking it through the compost until it settles around the base to a depth of an inch or so. Keep the plant well watered and very quickly masses of white roots will grow into the compost. It's then easy to divide the heathers and you get several good sized rooted plants from the original all of which will flower the following season

26 Sep, 2010


Thank you, Anchorman, first for the compliment, but also for your good advice. I haven't got any heathers, but I'll try your method with the other plants! I've managed to root 8 good sized Osteopermum jucundum plants that I started from pieces in the summer. I'm really pleased, as I inherited a large bed of hardy Osteos, but the central section was getting woody and I needed to replace some. Now I'll be able to! :-))

26 Sep, 2010


You might find this helpful Spritz

26 Sep, 2010


Thanks - that's exactly what I did, apart from cutting the leaves back! :-))

27 Sep, 2010

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