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Ten_Simple_Steps_to_Taking_Cuttings

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									Ten Simple Steps to Taking Cuttings

Word Count:
491

Summary:
Are you uncertain about what to do in the garden, and confused with
gardening jargon? Let Fran help you with easy to follow tips and advice.
This article gives you a step-by-step plan to taking cuttings and
increase the number of plants in your garden!


Keywords:
garden, gardening, beginner, cuttings, roots, softwood, compost


Article Body:
There are several different types of cuttings that you can take from
plants – the most common are softwood, semi-ripe and hardwood. These
refer to how woody and therefore how old the plant stem is.

Softwood cuttings are taken from the youngest part of the stem, and are
the easiest and quickest to take root. This makes them ideal for anyone
trying this for the first time.

Softwood cuttings are taken in May and June from the new growth of the
plant. They root easily – between 4 and 8 weeks – but can wilt and die if
they lose too much moisture, so they have to be kept warm and moist. And
the best way to do this, if you don’t have a propagator, is to put the
pot inside a polythene bag.

Some experts recommend using hormone rooting powder to encourage rooting,
others say it is not necessary. I have taken cuttings both using rooting
powder and without using it and I have had successes and failures with
both. So give it a try and see what happens.

The most suitable and easiest plants for taking cuttings include:
fuchsias, pelargoniums, hebes, lupins, hydrangeas and chrysanthemums.

So here’s how you do it:

1. Cut about half a dozen growing tips from the plant – about 4” using a
sharp knife or secateurs and pop straight into a polythene bag to keep
the cutting moist
2. Use either special cuttings compost, or make up a half and half mix
of multi-purpose compost and vermiculite or sharp sand
3. You can use small 3” pots for individual cuttings, or a larger 5” pot
and place up to 5 cuttings around the edge
4. Trim each cutting so that the bottom is just below a leaf joint
(node) – make the cut a slanted one if you can
5. Take off all the bottom leaves, leaving just 3-4 at the top, and
pinch out the growing tip
6. If you are using hormone rooting powder, dip the bottom end of the
cutting in water, then into the powder and shake off any excess
7. Push the cutting into the compost in the pot up to about a third of
its length, and water
8. Cover the pot with a clear polythene bag making sure the bag does not
press against the leaves, and place on a bright, sunny window ledge or in
a greenhouse
9. Check every few days, but they should not need much watering
10. When you see new leaves appearing, you will know that the cutting
has rooted – you can then re-pot the new plant into normal potting
compost

And because softwood cuttings are so easy to root, it is also possible
just to pop the cut stem into a glass of water, take off the bottom
leaves, pinch out the growing tip, and within a couple of weeks you will
see the roots starting to grow.

And that’s all there is to it – your family and friends will be so
impressed when you give them plants for free!

								
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