Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips – September 2020

Vitex can be rooted with hormone

Taking Stem Cuttings from Your Garden

Plant propagation has existed since forever! You can make more plants for your garden by plant propagation. Growing plants from seeds is easy in most cases but a quicker way to get more plants from your favorite plants is by propagation from cutting, division and tip layering. We will focus on taking stem cuttings from our plants.

Stem cuttings involves taking a piece of a mother plant, usually about 3-6 inches long from the tip to produce roots from that cutting. Plant pieces are taken from a healthy plant. You want to have several nodes, or places on the stem where roots may emerge. Use soft tip that has already flowered if the cutting is from a flowering plant. Cut off any flowers before rooting.

Many soft stem plants grow roots simply from being placed in fresh water in a container. Place the cut end in clean water. You may have to change the water every few days to keep it clean and to avoid mosquitoes.

Other woody plants need more help and can be rooted by using rooting hormone to help them develop roots and planting in potting soil or sand. Us a container with soil less potting mix or sand to root stems. Always make drainage holes in your container when using soil. Take a fresh cut from the desired pants. Wet the tip of the plant material with fresh water. Dip the tip of the plant in the rooting hormone, coating it well. Gently tap off any extra hormone from the plant tip. Using a finger or pencil to make a pre hole in the soil, gently plant the rooted tip in the soil being careful not to rub off any rooting hormone. Gently add more soil around the cutting securing it in place. Wet the soil of cutting by misting. Cover cutting with a plastic cover or plastic wrap tented over cuttings to keep in moisture. Some plants do fine without any tenting. Place in lighted area in a greenhouse in part sun to part shade area. Mist plants to avoid letting plants get too dry. Depending on the plant or after several weeks. Gently tug on plant to see if roots are developing or wait until you see signs of growth such as new leaves developing or if plant starts to elongate. Transplant new pant to a new pot or in the ground.

Taking cuttings can be a hit or miss event as some plants rot and you may have to experiment a bit but it can be fun and rewarding to have more plants that you love. The best time to take stem cuttings is when the plants are actively growing. Taking cuttings works well for many plants, vines and shrubs in our area such as azaleas, coleus, hydrangea, potato plants, prayer plant, roses, gardenias, and many more.

Begonias grow from stems easily

By Karen Blackburn

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