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Know more about types and techniques of taking cuttings

Apr 15, 2015
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Cuttings are a cost effective way of propagating plants. Most of the plants can be rooted by cuttings. There are basically 3 types of cuttings depending on the season and wood being used.

  • Spring cuttings / Softwood cuttings
  • Summer cuttings / Semi ripe cuttings
  • Autumn and Winter cuttings / Hardwood cuttings

Spring cuttings


Spring cuttings are taken in spring when plant is actively growing and putting on new growth. So these cuttings are soft wood. Take cuttings early in the morning when plants are not wilted. Choose a healthy looking non flowering 1-3 inches long stem and cut it just above a node (joint on stem where leaf appears) using pruning shears. Remove the growing tip and all leaves on the cuttings leaving 2-3 on the top. Make holes using pencil or any other object in the potting mix and insert the cuttings around the edge of the pot/container. To enhance chances of rooting you can dip cutting base in rooting hormone before inserting into the potting mix. Some gardener uses honey as an alternative of rooting hormone. Now cover the pot with a clear plastic bag without disturbing cuttings. Puncture the plastic bag to ensure air circulation around the cuttings. Keep the pot in a bright place away from direct sunlight.

Example : Pelargonium

 Read Also : How to prune flowering plants ? 

Read Also : Easiest flowers to grow at home. 

Summer cuttings

Summer cuttings are taken in summer when plant stops growing and newly appeared stems start ripening. Semi ripe stem returns to its original position when released after bending for few minutes. Make a cut just above a leaf node on a healthy looking semi ripe stem using sharp pruners. Clip bottom leaves off leaving 2-3 on the top and


remove the growing tip. Removal of growing tip is important because if it is left on the cutting then it will use plant’s all energy in developing new shoots. Final cutting should be 1-4 inches long. Dip the cutting base in rooting hormone to increase rooting chances. Insert the cuttings into pot filled with potting mix and water it. Cover the pot with a punctured plastic bag and put in a well lit place away from direct sun light. Sun light exposure can cause wilting in the cuttings.


Autumn and winter cuttings

When plant is in dormant stage means it is not growing actively in autumn and winter then cuttings can be taken from some shrubs and deciduous trees. These cuttings are hard, fully ripe and taken from current season’s growth. Make a cut just above a bud on a healthy looking stem. Prepare at least 10-12 inches long cutting by making a horizontal cut on the base and slant cut on the top of the cutting. Dip the cuttings into a rooting hormone to increase chances of success. You can insert these cuttings in pot or directly outside into the ground.

Example : Rosa, Salix, Berberis, Cornus.


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