How to Root Cuttings

Gardening Tips
Root Plant Cuttings

There are many ways to learn how to start and grow your plants. Some are more suitable for beginners who wish to learn principles of good gardening.

One of the best ways to learn how to grow your own plants and to take a good care of them is to learn how to start new plants. Probably the most crucial skill you need to develop is to root cuttings. Another important thing you need to learn is how to sprout seeds. However, rooting cuttings is very important for building your gardening skills because you need to select cuttings, prepping the rooting containers and other actions you need to learn in this process.

Rooting Plant Cuttings

A good example to learn how to root cuttings is a rich bush you can find in many gardens. One of the best plants for learning how to root is a Daphne bush, known for its dark foliage and white blossoms with wonderful lemon smell. This is a great example of a plant you might wish to have more, but you may use many different plants to learn how to root cuttings.

  • To start cuttings, you should wait for flowers to bloom and fall off. In case of the Daphne bush, you should wait for the plant to start sprouting little kelly green shoots. Other plants will produce different shoots.
  • Carefully, clip off a handful of shoots. In case of the Daphne bush, you should collect about 12 to 20 new shoots. It's important to cut just below two leaves so you won't damage the plant.
  • After you have cut the cuttings, put them immediately in a cup of water so they won't dry out.
  • Prepare a seedling tray. Fill it up with a compost or potting soil mixture. You may also use both compost and potting soil mixture.
  • Using a pencil, poke a large hole in the middle of the each box. These holes have to be big enough so the cuttings can be inserted comfortably, without the stem touching the dirt.
  • Pick up a clipping out of the water. Gently, shake any excess water off, but make sure that the clipping is not completely dry. Make sure to strip any leaves off the stem where the clipping will be inserted below the dirt. Only leaves you should have left are those that will be above the ground once you have planted a clipping.
  • To get the best results, it's important to use the rooting hormone. Dip the clipping carefully into the rooting hormone powder. Make sure to dip it up to the level where the dirt level will stop. Make sure to shake away any excess of the rooting powder back into the bottle.
  • Gently insert the clipping into the hole you hade in the dirt. It's important not to disturb the powder. When the clipping is in the hole, gently press the dirt back.
  • After you have planted all of the cuttings, water the soil. Make sure to make the spoil moist but don't drown your cuttings: this may damage them.
  • Put the cuttings in a sunny place (such as a sunny window). It should receive a few hours of sun daily. Alternatively, you may place your tray in a protected, partially shaded spot in your yard, but only if the frost has passed.
  • Water the cuttings frequently to keep the soil moist. However, you should makes sure not to overwater the plants.
  • After a few weeks the cuttings should sprout their roots and continue to shoot up. After they have matured well, you should transplant them to your yard. After transplanting, it's important to water them and protect them from frost for at least a month. After this they will be fully adapted to their new location.

This is a good method for rooting almost any plant or shrub. Depending on the plant, some cuttings will easily self-root. You can easily cut them and put them in a vase filled with water. Place the vase in a sunny window. This type of clipping will start developing roots after about a week or a little more. Some of the good plants for self-rooting are Vinca and Ivy. However, not all clipping will self-root. Those who don't should be rooted using the above method.

One Note About Daphne Bushes

In case you do want to start Daphne cuttings, keep in mind that they can be very picky about their new home. You need to use a well-drained soil. It's also important to protect them from outside elements such as winds, which is the reason why it's probably the best to plant them on the rise in your garden, preferably below the bigger trees.

Photo credit: Nadia308

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