I’m Rooting For You!

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking cuttings for a little while now but, being such a newbie, I thought I’d do some research first. Wow! There are so many different ways and times to propagate… my brain started to whirr and I felt trepidation (not good) so I decided to keep it simple.

For hundreds (if not thousands) of years people have been taking cuttings, saving seeds and dividing plants to make more. They didn’t have fancy equipment, hormone rooting powder or the internet to help them so… deep breath… I decided to give it a go!

Various of prunings from around the garden

The selection of plants above all grow easily in my garden and have, so far, survived my attempts to prune them.

Experienced Gardeners – Look away now!

All I did was cut the stems with clean secateurs just below a leaf node and removed most of the lower leaves and top growth.

Prepared for potting in compost

The prepared (very loosely used term) stems were then planted into a mixture of fresh compost and fine grit, put in a sheltered, bright location, watered and misted with water. They were then all given a little chat about “you may feel worse before you feel better” and I guiltily left them to it! I hope that they won’t die but the Smoke Bush cuttings are already looking sick.

The Usual Suspects: Hydrangea, Viburnum, Smoke Bush, Rosemary & Thornless BlackberryT

Dana from Mom in the Garden recently recieved some cut hydrangeas from her friend and noticed that roots had appeared at the base of one of the blooms. She successfully potted this on and she gave me an idea to do the same. Her garden blog in Ireland is well worth a visit :-)

Cuttings of hydrangeas in the kitchen window

So, I now have 3 small hydrangea cuttings in the kitchen by the sink and I’m impatiently waiting for the first little signs of roots.

Come on!! It’s been 12 hours already!!

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39 thoughts on “I’m Rooting For You!

  1. Any signs yet?! ;-) As a gardener you know all about patience… LOL! Lovely post – good luck with the cuttings. I tried lavender once and failed, but have managed geraniums… look forward to an update! :D

    • No signs yet! I will try very hard to leave the potted ones undisturbed… I’m probably the most impatient gardener in the world. I’m already looking forward to planting more garlic even though the current crop is still drying!!

  2. I’m rooting for you !!
    And yes a great post, I’ve done a few cuttings over the years, some more successful than others, Rosemary always seems to do well for me as do things like geraniums (nice and easy ;) ), but I’m still working on the curry leaves!

  3. PJ — I can sometimes root in dirt/vermiculite but a friend of mine said it was easier to root in pure white sand. The kind they put in kiddie sand boxes. I tried it and it works very well. The plant that is wilting has too many leaves its trying to support. Cut some of them off.

    • Thanks for the advice – I’ve been outside and removed most of the leaves, watered the compost again and reassured them (although the smoke bush cutting looks like he’s had enough already!).

  4. Take heart, because even if you fail with some of your cuttings, you will have learned something. I would make sure the soil is nice and moist. I would also place the new plants somewhere that they do not have to contend with afternoon sun in their early stages. Good luck!

  5. The usual suspects look like they are in a firing squad line up LOL. Kudo’s for trying something new. That’s half the fun. To quote an over-used but applicable term, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Good Luck! Alys and I were chatting about bed time stories, that’s another thing fun to do in jammies.

    • I keep telling the cuttings that I’ve moved them to the horticultural equivalent of a health spa but they also think they’re about to be shot! I love bedtime stories x

  6. Cutting are a bit like Russian roulette sometimes you win and sometimes you’ll fail big time. Keep your cuttings small and reduce the leaf area to a minimum (tough love) keep in the shade and keep the soil/sand mix moist. You could put them in a propagator (or plastic bag) – but watch for mold if it gets too moist. Be patient – don’t disturb them until there are signs of active growth or until they’ve given up (usually brown and crispy). Taking heel or semi-ripe cuttings often gives better results than softwood (check a gardening book for these terms). Hard wood cuttings are also good for some plants – less risky as you just stick in the pot or even in the soil and just wait!
    it is fun – you can get lots of free plants and once you get the knack it’s easy.
    Hope this helps

    • What great advice – thank you. I hope that at least one will survive but if not I will start again until I have the knack. I will try my hardest not to disturb them but it will probably be like having christmas presents in full view for weeks… just one peek… No! I’ll resist! :-)

      • There is a wonderful frisson of excitement when you empty a pot of cutting – even better than growing from seed. So I’m off to take some lavender cutting – the new shots after flowering should be about right by now – in fact semi-ripe!

  7. Good luck with your cuttings – don’t be disheartened with the failures, but celebrate big time if roots do appear! I agree with the ‘Russian roulette’ comment, that really sums up my experiences with cuttings too. When I worked on a nursery, we usually pinched out the tip of the cutting as well as removing most of the leaves – but these cuttings also had the benefit of a heated propagator, so they were very pampered!

    • Mmm – I’m going for the tough love approach (not much pampering around here unfortunately!). If any of them do take then I’ll celebrate… if they don’t be prepared for a post full of brown cuttings in a couple of months! Ha ha x

  8. I’m don’t have any success with cuttings in the Southern Hemisphere but I have managed to replant some wild lemon grass that I grabbed a handful of from the local park (including a root or two), and my rainbow chillie has reseeded itself in the last pot it was contained in…..which was a nice surprise!

  9. I’m a new gardnes as well, and I’m new to your blog, and you have already inspired me. I wonder if there is a better time of year to propagate?! I live in So. California, so it stays hot through October.

    • Elaine… you’re one of the experienced gardeners that I hoped would look away from the carnage :-)
      I’m off immediately to put a bag over them. Thanks for the advice!

  10. Fun! Just remember, there are always more stems where those came from.
    This is the best time of the year to do cuttings, as you can leave them in the shade but they won’t get too cold. I used to just leave a mister going on mine (not full blast of course). Just keep them from wilting and you will do fine. :)

  11. I’m thinking of moving my Going Native blog to WordPress. I started playing with wordpress and now I can’t post on wordpress blogs without the link going to a work-in-progress blog that is not ready to be seen. I don’t know how to cancel my wordpress account. I’m glad you found me though.

    • It’s very sad… they’re nearly all dead. I will give them a dignified burial in the compost heap and try again. The rosemary is still holding on but it’s touch and go so keep her in your prayers….
      Thanks for asking ;-)

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