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Starting Plants from Cuttings

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A cutting of a plant growing in a clay pot.

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.

Solutions: Starting Plants from Cuttings

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Tip: Growing New Houseplants From Cuttings

Growing houseplants from cuttings.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!

I've also had huge success with jade plants by clipping off a piece and putting it in potting soil. I do this regularly, and I've found they come in very handy as gifts for house warming presents or get well soon gifts or any occasion. This is the ultimate in thrifty fun! You can get clippings from neighbors' plants and do trades, too. Most people are happy to share, just ask and then offer some from your own garden/yard.

By Lee from Indialantic, FL

Tip: Bottle Propagator

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

Tip: Grow Plants from Cuttings

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

Tip: Your Spring Garden for Pennies

A patch of brightly colored coleus.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. You would do best, for reasons of saving space, to take cuttings rather than move a whole plant indoors during winter.

I like to take my cuttings in late fall and root them and plant them in long rectangular planters ("windowbox" shape). These are then placed in a sunny window, watered as needed, checked occasionally for any pests, and groomed as necessary.

Then, shortly before I put these outdoors to harden off, they get lightly fertilized. When the weather has warmed sufficiently, I move the containers gradually into higher light levels and then transplant my starts into the locations where I want them to grow.

As an example of how well this can work, I took cuttings from a coleus with a large red leaf and rooted them, planted them in a long container and grew them through the winter. I say "grew them" but the truth is they grew tall and spindly (due to lower light levels indoors) and did drop a lot of lower leaves. They did grow and endure in spite of the fact that the coleus is definitely an annual in eastern Tennessee. I now have more pots of coleus than I know what to do with PLUS a vigorous and enormous stand of them in a patch in the ground.

Many of your plants and shrubs can provide cuttings for wintering indoors. Perhaps friends, relatives and neighbors may also be sources for cuttings. The coming of warmer weather will see you well supplied with starter plants for your garden with minimal expense of some pots and soil, some attention to watering on your part, clean-up of fallen leaves, and a place in a sunny window for a few months. A small price to pay, considering the rewards.

By Margret from Greeneville, TN

Tip: Everlasting Mothers Day Flowers - Rooting Cut Flowers

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

Approximate Time: 30 - 45 minutes (depending on how many flowers you need to root)

Supplies:

  • fresh flowers
  • potting soil
  • flower pot
  • Shultz Take Root (rooting hormone)
  • scissors
  • water

Instructions:

  1. After enjoying your fresh flowers a couple of days, take them out of the vase. Cut the ends off of each flower.
  2. Fill a flower pot with potting soil, make a hole for each flower you have in the soil.
  3. Take one flower at a time dip it into water, then stir end in Shultz Take Root powder. Remove excess powder by tapping on rim of the container.
  4. Plant treated flowers in potting soil. Water, and mist regularly. The flowers will then grow roots and can be replanted in flower bed, or wherever you desire. Enjoy flowers every year there after.
  5. By Rhondah from Andersonville, TN

Tip: Old Sandbox to Start Plant Cuttings

The kids old sandbox makes a great place to grow cuttings for starting new plants! Be sure to shade the new cuttings from the sun and water frequently until you see new growth. These little plants you are growing will sell for $5.00 each at your next garage sale!

Source: E How - fixitguy1971 article (me) Dated 4/25/09

By Jim H. from Auburn, Ohio

Tip: Starting a Garden with Cuttings from Friends and Family

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., if they're going to be having any spares of plants, flower bulbs, flower or plant seeds, graftings from trees, etc. to let you know, that you'll be happy to take them off your hands. You might even get a gift card from one of your local nurseries for a birthday, house warming gift, Christmas gift, etc.

A nice thing about gardening is getting plant clippings from friends and relatives. Especially plants that bloom year after year and even long after some family members are no longer living, you'll still have something to remember them by.

By Terri H. from NV

Tip: Rooting Plant Cuttings

An easy way to root angel trumpets, confederate rose, and rose of Sharon is to cut a branch off and put it in water halfway up the stem until it has roots. Put it in the ground and keep watered for a couple of weeks. They return every year.

By chott2004 from Tuscaloosa, AL

Tip: Grow Cuttings To Give Away

Grow Cuttings To Give Away 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. They are great for "Welcome to the neighborhood", "Hope you're feeling better", "Have a SMILE", "Cheer up". Great for yard sales or plant swaps, etc.

Also good if you have too many, call your city hall and ask if they need them for the parks and recreation dept. Some places will come and get them and put in landscaping all over town.

By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA

Tip: Planting Branches

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. I have even grown two white pine trees from cuttings. It also works well to grow ivy and some perennials (no root necessary). It's fun and saves money too.

By Virginia from Cincinnati, OH

Rock Garden Rooting Glass

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.

Tip: Starting Trees (and other plants) From Slips

I have used several methods for starting plants for my own use. I once moved on to property that had no trees. Early the next spring, with the blessing of a neighbor, I clipped very thin branches that where long and straight and more then 3 ft long and had buds barely cracked. I put them in 5 gal pails with warm water to which I add willow starter tea. I then changed the water daily by overflowing the pail (not letting the tree slips out into the air). I continued to watch them and eventually about 30-40% sprouted roots (which is good for free). This method works best with the soft wood trees I found.

Organic Willow Starter Tea (must be fresh)

It is made by boiling about a quart of water on the stove for about 15 minutes, then adding at least one heaping measuring cup of soft willow branches. The branches are prepared by stripping the leaves and cutting them into about one-inch lengths. The point is to get the branches from the current years' growth that has a thin bark. Also, recommended is to smash them with a hammer. The willow branch clippings are dumped into the boiling water; the heat turned off; stirring occasionally; and left covered to cool overnight. DO NOT BOIL THE WILLOW ITSELF. This steeps out the chemicals that are beneath the bark. When cool (overnight or longer) the woody clippings may be strained off. The solution put into a clean quart jar and capped. It is best if it is used up within three days. This solution is then used for soaking the cutting ends in overnight before planting them in starter medium.

By Muslimaleila

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Questions

Here are questions related to Starting Plants from Cuttings.

Question: Preparing a Cutting to Use Rooting Compond

What steps should I take for preparing my cuttings before dipping them into rooting compound?

By Glenn

Question: Rooting Whips

How do I root plants (whips)?

By Eddie


Most Recent Answer

By GuyB05/07/2012

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.

Question: Propagating Holly Shrubs from Cuttings

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


Most Recent Answer

By Jan S.11/29/2011

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.

Question: Texas Sage Cuttings

How do I root cuttings of Texas sage?

By Dianne

Question: Starting Plants from Cuttings

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

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Kevin


Most Recent Answer

By Vi Johnson [231]03/19/2010

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