This is that time of year when we take cuttings of our beloved plants. These are the indoor plants that grew too big over the summer months, the perennials we would like to increase in numbers rather than dividing, or from bringing in an entire annual plant from outside.
Taking cuttings isn’t difficult, some simple steps are needed though, to ensure the least amount of casualties happen. First, before taking the actual pieces from a plant, you need to gather all the materials needed. You will need sharp pruners or an exacto knife to take the cuttings from the original plant, containers to put your cuttings in, the soil which the cuttings grow their roots, the rooting hormone, water and light.
The containers to put your cuttings in can range from Styrofoam cups, or used, clean yogurt containers, to purchased plastic cell packs. The number of containers needed depends on how many cuttings you are planning to do. If you are doing a large amount of cuttings, a bottom tray is essential, as this prevents movement of your cut stems when you need to move them. You also need a covering to keep the moisture level high while your cuttings are trying to root; either a purchased clear plastic dome or a dry-cleaner bag work well.
Second, you need the soil that they will root in. It is best to purchase a sterilized potting soil, as this will prevent any disease from attacking the cutting, as well as providing the needed amount of aeration to the growing roots. You can re-use old potting soil from other sources, but it will need to be sterilized again, as well as any nutrients will be gone.
An easy method for sterilizing your own pre-used soil, is to pour boiling water through the soil several times. The pot of soil is placed into a sinkRead more on backyardgardener.com