While most like to start plants from seeds, you can also grow plants from cuttings. I am going to share a few tips on how to grow plants from cuttings that will have you gardening like a pro in no time at all.
How To Grow Plants From Cuttings
After you have learned a few tips on how to grow plants from cuttings, it is really just as easy as growing from a seed. Yes, you can still have a few that are not successful, but when you do it right the success rate goes up.
Before we get started you may be wondering if you can grow plants from cuttings from all types of plants. The answer is no. While most can be grown from a cutting (some easier than others) not all plants will grow that way.
There are also different types of cuttings for plants. Such as leafy cuttings, softwood, semi softwood, and hardwood cuttings. Most have to do with the time of year you cut the piece off the plant that you will be regrowing.
Leafy cutting is just that. It is when you take a piece of a fresh green soft plant such as basil. Softwood is when it is the start of a new growing season and little shoots are just starting.
Then you have semi softwood, that is when the shoots are starting to turn woody. This normally happens around mid to late summer.
A hardwood cutting is when the pice is fully mature and have turned woody and hard textured. They are also not easy to bend at this stage. This is normally in the fall to winter.
The type of cutting that you need to use will depend on the plant you are trying to grow.
Selecting, Size & Cutting:
When starting plants from cuttings look for a healthy section of the plant. Healthier plants have a better rate of success with cuttings.
While cuttings can be grown from pieces as small as a leaf, you are more likely to have success with a cutting that has several growth nodes (bumps) off of it. That can help get the plant going once it takes root.
When making your cutting use an extremely sharp implement to help get a clean cut that will have a better chance of growing. Clean and sterilize your cutting tool to prevent the spread of bacteria from plant to plant that could lead to failure of the cutting or a sick plant once it begins to grow.
Planting Medium, Hormone & Planting:
While you can start cuttings in water or soil, a soilless medium is better for starting cuttings for most plants (but not all). You want a medium that will allow for plenty of oxygen to flow around your root cutting while helping provide moisture. Perlite and peat moss mixed together makes a great combination for starting plants from cuttings.
Most cuttings can benefit from root hormone to help encourage them to take on new roots. The one I use the most often is the Garden Safe Take Root. This can be completely optional and not having any available is no reason to not give rooting a cutting a try.
First, moisten the end of the cutting that you will be planting. Then place your cutting into your rooting medium. It is best if you pull a little of the rooting hormone into a dish or on a piece of plastic. That way you do not contaminate the rest of the container or get it wet.
Put the cutting (the end you dipped in hormone) about 1 to 1.5 inches deep into your growing medium. If your cutting needs more support you can use a stick buried in the rooting medium and a piece of string to attach the cutting to the stick.
Keep your rooting medium moist but not wet. You can use a plastic bag to create a greenhouse for your plant cutting to help keep it moist. If you cover your plant be sure to remove the cover daily to allow for vital air flow.
Within about 2-4 weeks (depending on the plant) you should see roots on the end of your cutting and new growth beginning. At this point, you can move your cuttings to a regular container or plant in the garden.
Looking for more gardening and growing tips? Here are a few to check out.
- How to Help Your Herb Garden Thrive
- Jump-Start your Garden by Starting Seeds Indoors
- Potato Tower Box – How To Make And Grow In A Potato Tower Box
- Japanese Beetle (aka June Bug) How To Control Them
- How to Successfully Grow Peppers Indoors