Propagating through cuttings, guiding principles

Preparing cuttings is a very simple plant propagation technique that many plants tolerate perfectly.
Its main advantage is that it allows you to reproduce the same exact plant as the one you love!

The following plants are among the easiest to successfully propagate through cuttings: willow tree, olive tree, pear tree, apple tree, fig tree and also grape vine.

Now for the technical side of preparing cuttings: here are the tips on how to correctly prepare cuttings:

Cutting preparation techniques

Conventional cuttings => This concerns most plants.

  • Choose a healthy plant, growing profusely, free from any insects, and not yet flowering.
  • Cut a 4 to 6 inch (10 to 15 cm) stem with very clean (disinfected) pruning shears, so that the cutting isn’t contaminated.
  • Remove leaves and lateral shoots from the portion that will go in the soil.
  • If you have some, you may dip the base of the cutting in store-bought powdered rooting agents.
  • Plant the cutting in special cutting soil mix, or a mix of blond peat and sand.
  • Water generously.
  • Keep a high moisture level until it is settled in.

When to prepare cuttings?

May-June
Green cuttings => new growth: chrysanthemum, anthemis, french marigold, Saint John’s wort, etc…

July-August
Softwood cuttings => stems have taken the color of wood and are more brittle. The base is hard but the tip is still flexible: geranium, fuchsia, evergreen shrubs.

October-November
Hardwood cuttings => hard wood: Deciduous trees and shrubs.

Leaf cuttings=> Several species such as begonia, African violet and other indoor plants like the Zamioculcas require this particular technique.

Species that are most often propagated through cuttings, all techniques combined, are listed here:

Camellia, rhododendron, buddleia, Maule’s quince, forsythia, tree mallow, fuchsia plants, honeysuckle, lilac, soap bush, meadowsweet, weigela, hibiscus, aster, dahlia, lantana, nasturtiums, clematis, wisteria, wild privet, cypress, oleander, etc.

Read also on the topic of cuttings


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Simple cuttings by R&G Lorthiois, own work