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hardwood cuttings

How to take a hardwood cutting

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Mid winter is a great time to propagate plants from hardwood cuttings, says 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. There’s plenty more growing ideas to be found in our current issues, available here.