Starting Plants from Cuttings

One of the best way to get new plants for your home and garden is by taking cuttings from an existing plant. There are several techniques to ensure success. This is a guide for starting plants from cuttings.

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A cutting of a plant growing in a clay pot.
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This is a guide about rooting impatiens cuttings. One way to save money on garden plants is to divide up your plant purchase by preparing cutting from the main plant.

Rooting Impatients Cuttings

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Clippings from My Garden

Photo Description
My friend asked me for clippings from my garden and this is what she is getting. These succulents sit in a wooden box and floral foam oasis. The handle is foxtail fern and the succulents include aeoniums, kiwi, burro's tail, campfire, and many filler plants from my garden. I say spring is here!

Photo Location
Montebello, Southern California

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I tried rooting lantana several times without much success. I was using the standard method for taking cuttings. When I told a nice lady friend about my poor results, she told me I would have better luck if I took cuttings from the tips of the plant. Since taking her advice, I have had near 100% success.

When taking cuttings, it is good to have the parent plant well hydrated. I take cuttings in the cooler part of the day, usually late evening, and always try to work in the shade.

The parent plant is in a small pot. It has lots of bloom buds. Since this is a trailing type lantana, it will look nice if allowed to grow larger in a hanging basket. I will transplant it after taking my cuttings. Rooting Lantana Cuttings

I prepare a pot with a rich, light, moist but not wet soil. If the soil drains readily and is rich in organic matter, no special potting or rooting soil is necessary, nor is rooting hormone.

With clean, sharp scissors, I cut tips from the stems. I select stems without flowers or flower buds. You should have good success with cuttings that have blooms or buds if you snip them off before inserting them in soil. Make a cut just below the third pair of leaves (not counting any very small leaves at the tip). Carefully cut away the third and second pair of leaves. Insert the cuttings in the soil to a depth of midway between lower joint. Rooting Lantana Cuttings

Cover the cuttings with plastic to retain moisture during the rooting process. When rooting small amounts of cuttings, I find it convenient to use an inverted soda bottle from which the top has been removed. Rooting Lantana Cuttings

Place the pot in a place with bright or dappled light but not direct sun. Check the soil occasionally to make sure it stays moderately moist but not wet. Within 3-4 weeks, you should notice small, new growth at the tips of the cuttings. If a cutting is lifted, you should see roots. At this point, wait 2 weeks before carefully lifting the cuttings to transplant them into their permanent container.

Any of the summer months is a good time to root lantanas. I always root a few, in case I should loose my larger plants. And don't forget, in the true gardener's spirit, they are nice to give as gifts.

rooted lantana cuttings
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    Bottle PropagatorI made this simple propagator today to hold some sage cuttings that I took from my garden. Cut a plastic bottle in half, place the plant and pot in the bottom half of the bottle, and use the top to cover the cutting. Remove the bottle top occasionally to remove the condensation which helps the cuttings to avoid damping off.

    By Richard from UK

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    I have had good success in growing many things from cuttings, like hibiscus and frangipani (plumeria), by dipping the stem in honey and putting the cutting into sandy potting mix mixed 50/50. If the weather is cold to cool, a plastic bag over the pot gives a hothouse style of growing.

    Hydrangeas grow easily from cuttings too. Make sure there is a least 3 eyes (leaf nodes). The bottom one should be placed in the soil (I use potting mix) and this is where the roots will grow from, Also cutting off any large leaves is important so all of the plants energy can go to making roots.

    Source: This was information from my mother who was an avid gardener

    By Roslyn from Morley, WA

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    Free plants! All these plants came from one original plant! Bromeliads are great for this because they naturally produce "pups" and you just break them off at the base and put the new pup in potting soil and you have a new plant!

    Growing houseplants from cuttings.

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    This is a guide about rooting plants in water. Rooting your new plant cutting in water is a very effective method. Depending on your choice of container it can also be interesting to watch the roots develop.

    spider plant in flask

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    I am moving in November from Rhode Island to Cape Cod, Massachusetts and need to bring a small root of my dad's lilac tree, my mom's peonies bulbs, and small roots of forsythias. Can someone tell me how to preserve these over the winter to be able to plant them at my new home in the spring please?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Store them in damp peat moss in a very cool place and they should be fine.They are all quite tough. Remember to make sure you have at least 5 eyes on your peony or it will take a long time to bloom. Keep the most you can.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      I usually ask friends and family for starts off their plants. When I go to a nursery or store that sells plants, I look on their floors. A lot of times you can find broken stems that can be rooted in water.

      White flower with a purple throat, maybe a Rose of Sharon.

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      I live in an area where I need privacy but can't afford to buy all the plants I need to grow a hedge, so I decided to propagate my own plants for free! All you need to buy is a container of rooting hormone (under $5) and several bags of playground sand.

      Get Free Hedges And Plants By Propagating Your Own

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      Starting roots on fresh flowers so they can be planted and come back every year. The gift that keeps on giving.

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      It's easy to grow shrubs and many other plants by simply planting a branch. Cut off a branch and bury it in decent soil leaving only 6-8 inches out of the ground. It may be small, but it will grow.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      There are many plants that let you take cutting to start new plants. Why not start some in "give-a-way pots". I have several transplants waiting for the right person.

      Grow Cuttings To Give Away

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      I would like advice for starting new plants from clippings of the plants I have.

      Hardiness Zone: 9a

      By Kevin

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      It would help to know the kind of plants you want to start. GG Vi

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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      Q: I have a geranium that is three years old, I keep it inside. It is very large! One of the branches broke off when I was watering it and I was wondering if there was anyway of getting it to root. I put it in a vase of water as soon as it happened, this was 2 weeks ago and it is still doing very well. The buds have opened and no leaves have died. Should I leave it in the water or should I use a rooting compound and put it in dirt? Any suggestions? The pink one is the plant it broke off of.

      Hardiness Zone: 5b

      Thanks,
      Michelle from New York

      A: Michelle,

      Geraniums are one the easiest plants to root from cuttings. If you leave yours in water, you will see tiny roots emerging before you know it. You can also root stem cuttings in a soil-less potting medium. To do this, remove a stem cutting about 3 or 4 leaf joints from the tip. Make sure you remove any potential flower heads so the cuttings direct all of their energy into roots. Remove the bottom leaves and insert the cutting into a growing medium (about 40% perlite and 60% soil-less mix or 50% peat and 50% sand). Keep the growing medium light and airy so the new roots have plenty of room to grow. Geraniums usually take to rooting just fine without dipping the cuttings into a rooting hormone, but if you prefer, dip each stem into a rooting hormone before inserting them into the growing medium. Water the new cuttings and then make a greenhouse for them by covering the pot with a plastic bag. Place the pot in a location where the temperature stays warm throughout the day and doesn't drop down too far at night. After 10 to 20 days, the cuttings should start forming roots. Pinch back the stems as they grow to encourage side shoots.

      Good luck!
      Ellen

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      -- Mine didn't grow; they all died. What did I do wrong?

      ----------

      Michelle,

      I dont think you did anything wrong. You might have brought them out to soon and frost got them. Where do you live? Or you may have not given them enough water.

      ~Wendola~

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      Rooting plant in stemmed glass with rocks and water.Rooting in water is one of the best ways to start a plant. Just take a few snips from a plant that you love, being sure to include a growth node or two. Strip off any leaves that will be beneath the level of water in the glass, then place the stem end into water in a clear glass container. Stand it in a sunny window, and within a week or so, you'll see the roots beginning to grow.

      From the time that I was little, there was nearly always a cutting from a plant sitting in a glass in a sunny window in my grandmother's kitchen. I continue the tradition when I can, but my own tastes run to using the glasses and jars that I find in my shopping travels. Beautiful glasses are so very inexpensive, and lend themselves to creating lovely things. I seldom can pass up an unusual piece of crystal. The shape of this glass is unique, but the garden idea can be used with any wide mouthed bowl glass, or even a large brandy snifter.

      The peace and serenity of an Oriental garden are equal parts color, living plants, and the natural stone. Even the structures that are placed in the garden are in keeping with nature, sandstone or natural wood, in lines that harmonize with the graceful shapes of garden plants. The materials used for the cuttings planter are simple to find and easy to assemble.

      Materials

      • wide-mouthed stemmed glass
      • one bag of river rock or washed aquarium gravel
      • one or two small sandstone or ceramic gazebos or towers, to scale for the glass
      • cuttings of ivy, philodendron, spider plant, or other house plants that root in water

      Instructions:

      1. Wash and rinse glass well.
      2. Dump river rocks or aquarium gravel in a sieve or colander and wash well under running water.
      3. Fill glass with rocks to just below the rim of the glass. If using a brandy snifter, fill to just below where the glass begins to bell inward.
      4. Strip any leaves on bottom 2-3 inches of cuttings. If desired, dip ends of stems in purchased rooting mix.
      5. Carefully insert the ends of the stems into the rocks, nudging stones aside with fingertip if necessary.
      6. Arrange benches, pagodas or other decorations on surface of rocks.
      7. Fill glass with water to just below the level of the rocks. Tap water works just fine. Distilled water is "dead" water; while it's pure and free of any contaminants, it also has no nutrients in it. If desired, you can mix rooting mixture according to package directions and substitute for the water.
      Rooting plant in stemmed glass with rocks and water.

      Caring for your planter:
      Simply top up the water any time that the surface of the rocks is dry.

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      How do I root plants (whips)?

      By Eddie

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      You didn't specify what type of plants but it sounds like you are trying to root some sort of tree whips. If that is the case just cut

      off the whips you want, remove lower leaves and cut bottoms at a slant. You can use a medium like rootone or if you have access to a willow tree just cut off several branches {fresh and small} and pour boiling water over them and allow to cool. Just put the fresh cut whips in a container and add the willow water and wait for them to root. Check the ends occasionally to make sure they are not getting slimy and change the willow water at least once a week (rooting hormones are made of willow bark!). Good luck.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      If you're wanting to landscape your property, but not wanting to spend a lot of money doing so, alert your family, friends, fellow church members, co-workers, etc.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      A neighbour has given me 2 evergreen holly cuttings from her shrub which is growing beautifully. We believe that you must have a male and female to ensure the plant gets holly berries. Is this true and if so, how can I tell if I have both?

      Also any tips on rooting these cuttings would be appreciated.

      Thanks

      By Shell

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      It is true and sadly, there is no way to tell which you have. All you can do is wait and see if you get berries. If both cuttings are from the same shrub, they'll both be male or female depending on the parent.

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Many plants, including those considered annuals in your area, can be over-wintered indoors and used as starts in your spring garden, whether it be in the ground or in containers, or both.

      A patch of brightly colored coleus.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Clematis Flower

      Question:

      Hi Ellen,

      I love clematis and I have bought 3 plants this year. My garden is all around the perimeter of my yard with a fence. I would like to have them growing eventually all around but the expense is not within my budget. How can I start new plants from clippings of my already purchased plants?

      Gratefully,
      Karen from Leamington, Ontario Canada

      Answer:

      Hi Karen,

      The most common ways to propagate clematis (other than from seed) is by cuttings or layering. Cuttings tend to have a lower success rate and layering tends to take longer. Cuttings can be taken in May or June from shoots containing this year's growth. The shoots should be semi-hard wood (not too green, yet not fully hardened) and contain 2 to 3 leaf nodes. Wound the cuttings slightly by scraping off a small amount of plant tissue around the base. Dip them into a rooting hormone and place them in a pot filled with a light rooting mix (e.g. 2 parts sand, 1 part peat). Cut the bottom leaves off (leaving only stubs) and cut the top leaves in half. This will help reduce moisture loss. Moisten the rooting mix and cover the entire pot with a plastic dome made from a cut off 2-liter soda bottle (remove the cap). With good light and warm temperatures, the cuttings should root in 5 to 6 weeks. Cuttings taken in the early spring (May) sometimes take longer to root, so be patient. If you see roots by August, go ahead and plant the rooted cuttings outdoors. If you don't see any roots by then, keep the cuttings indoors over winter and plant them next spring.

      Layering clematis is usually much easier for people than taking cuttings and you can do this in the fall. Select a mature stem (this year's or last year's growth) and slice a cut into it about 3 to 4 inches from the tip. This slit is where the new roots will emerge. Prop the wound open with a small piece of toothpick or grain of rice and dust it with a rooting hormone (one that contains a fungicide, if possible). Bend the shoot so that you can secure the wounded node to the soil with a bent piece of wire and then cover it lightly with soil. Rooting may take as long as 9 - 12 months, but once formed, you can cut the rooted portion away from the parent plant, carefully dig it up and move it to the desired location.

      For more information on propagating clematis visit the International Clematis Society (http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/clematis/prop.htm).

      Good Luck! Ellen

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      For those of you who couldn't get this link to work (I couldn't),

      http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/clematis/prop.htm

      Here is a link to an excellent video with information on starting Clematis from cuttings.I've tried this method and it works very well.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU5E16vxYTg

      ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      Can I use rooting hormone on perennial plants?

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