The quickest and most reliable way to produce more of your favourite plants with new plants coming true to the original. Begin with a suitable compost,
Cutting compost mix:
Basic mix: 2 parts multi purpose compost with 1 part perlite. Over time you may wish to become more adventurous and begin to add other ingredients to your compost mixes, our cutting mixes contain up to 12 ingredients and are differ slightly for different plants and uses, we have developed them over time through trial and error to find mixes that are greatly successful.
Always use a clean sharp knife or secateurs to take cuttings, and clean between different plants to avoid spreading virus’. Although there has been a boom in the number of rooting gels in recent years, these tend to produce a fine brittle root which is easily damaged when potting up or planting out at a later date, instead consider dipping cuttings in Maxicrop Take Root prior to inserting into pots.
Types of cuttings
The most common method, can be struck from terminal shoots ( main shoot) or lateral shoots (side shoots) of most plants. Select a healthy, young shoot, 2 – 3” (5 – 7.5 cm) long, remover and leaves on the lower half of the stem, cut the stem below a leaf joint and insert, at least ½” deep into compost.
These are the ideal way to propagate many trees, shrubs and conifers. These should usually be taken in autumn and winter, between July and October for semi-hardwood cuttings, and between September and March for hardwood cuttings. These cuttings will root between two to twelve months. Hardy plants should be rooted in pots outdoors. Semi-hardwood cuttings: mature sections from the current growth, normally from the base of the stem, firm, woody shoots with no flowers. Take cutting between 3 and 6” (7.5 – 14cm) long with at least two leaf joints. Hardwood cuttings: mature sections from the current growth, (usually from the base of the stem), firm, woody shoots with no flowers, fruit or seedheads. Take cutting between 6 and 12” (14 – 28cm) long with at least two leaf joints.
Leaf stem cuttings
From plants consisting mainly of leaves, with short or no distinct stems. Using a healthy adult leaf, trim and insert into compost. A new plant will grow from the base of the leaf and a root system will grow from the stem.
Are taken from plants with long trailing stems. Remove a section of the stem from above and below a leaf joint insert the section below the bud into the compost, or score the back of the stem and lightly push it into compost to encourage a wider rooting area.
From plants consisting mainly of leaves , with little or no stems. Selecting a healthy adult leaf, cut sections of one inch right across the leaf. Insert into compost, upright about halfway down. In the case of certain houseplants such as begonia rex and streptocarpus, it is possible to make several lacerations to the veins on the underside of the leaf and peg these on top of compost to produce a new plant at every cut.
Bud or leaf cuttings
The most effective type of cutting for most climbers and some evergreen shrubs and trees. Cut a section of the stem 3 and 6” (7.5 – 14cm) long by cutting above and below a leaf joint, insert the stem up to the bud into the compost.
Taken from some herbaceous perennials, shrubs, bamboo and trees. Exposing the roots, remove sections which are at least ¼” diameter, cut the roots into sections of 2 – 3” (5 – 7.5cm) long. Insert the cuttings completely into the compost. Leave under a greenhouse bench or other slightly shaded place until leaves begin to appear.
Growing from seed
Firstly and most importantly, start by selecting the best quality seed you can find.
Use a suitable compost, an off the shelf seed compost will do, but consider a premium mix or mixing your own. Fill pots or seed trays just below the top with compost, lightly scatter seeds evenly onto surface and cover with a fine layer or compost: roughly to twice the depth of the seed. Water liberally, (I usually water with a Maxicrop Take Root at this stage to encourage germination), Put on a windowsill or greenhouse preferably in apropagator until seeds begin to germinate.
Seeds first send out a set of large embryotic leaves which look more or less the same for most seeds varying only in size, these act lie solar panels allowing the young plants to take in as much light as possible, from between these two leaves, gradually a set of true leaves will develop.
Once you can see two or three sets of true leaves, the seedlings are ready to prick out. Taking care not to damage the young plants, gently lever them out using a plant label. Pot the plants into 3” pots so the level of compost comes just above the level it was at in the seedtray.
Once roots begin to show through the bottom of the pots, either pot up into a slightly larger pot, or directly into the garden.