How to take a hardwood cutting

Mid winter is a great time to propagate plants from hardwood cuttings, says HELEN McKERRAL.

hardwood cuttings
Photo: Helen McKerral

Take hardwood cuttings of deciduous woody plants (such as roses, figs, kiwi fruit, grapevine, hydrangea, wisteria) from early to mid winter.

1. Fill clean pots with a commercial propagating medium or well-drained potting mix plus one-third sharp/propagating sand. Moisten thoroughly.

2. Choose stems of pencil thickness or more if possible. Each cutting should have at least three nodes (where leaves/buds emerge).

3. Make cuttings about 15-20cm long using sharp, clean secateurs. For tip cuttings, cut just below a node. For cuttings along stems, make lower cuts just below nodes, upper cuts just above nodes.

4. Poke holes in the mix with a pencil. Dip the cutting in honey, then insert into a hole and firm, ensuring one or more nodes lie both above and below the surface.

5. Keep damp, but not wet, until roots form then pot up.

Helen's 'How-to' appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Organic Gardener magazine.

Helen McKerral

By: Organic Gardener

First published: June 2016

Related topics

Gardening Basics, All Gardens, hardwood cutting, propagation, organic gardening, how-to, Issue 88 - July/August 2016, Propagating