Wednesday, 12 December 2007


When can I take semi ripe cuttings?

Many woody plants can be propagated by semi-ripe cuttings around August. This method is especially useful for increasing stock or the type of shrubs, which either don’t come true from seed or are very difficult to get seed to germinate.

Semi-ripe cuttings are sections of the current season’s growth that has begun to firm. The cutting base is quite hard, while the tip is still soft. Avoid damaged, unhealthy and over-vigorous cuttings, selecting shoots that have the nodes close together. Remove sideshoots of the current season’s growth from the stock plant using sharp secateurs. Trim them to 10-15cm (4-6in) in length, cutting just below a node. After removing the lowest leaves and soft tip make a shallow cut, 1-2cm (0.5-0.75in) long, on one side of the stem base to assist rooting. Some people use rooting powder but if you don’t then just plant a few extra cuttings so if there are fatalities you will still be left with a few rooted cuttings. Insert the cutting in a pot of standard cutting compost in a cold frame, and water in well.


Ensure that the compost remains moist until the cuttings are well rooted, shading the cold frame in hot weather. During winter remove any fallen leaves and dead cuttings, watering only if the compost is dry. The following spring gradually harden off the cuttings before potting them up.

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