The end of the summer growing season is just the time to make soft wood cuttings from this season’s growth. Here’s how to do it.

Cuttings usually take four to 12 weeks to root before they’re ready to be transplanted, giving plenty of time for the young plants to establish themselves for vigorous growing when spring comes again. Rosemary and lavender are prime targets – as fast-growing species, they get woody and untidy and need replacing. Propagating them from cuttings is a cost-effective way to keep your garden looking lovely.

Tools for the job:

  • A sharp pair of secateurs
  • 15 cm pots
  • A soil mix of half river sand and half peat moss
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag/coverfor the pots
  1. Take cuttings from healthy plants only. Make sure the parent plant is well hydrated as the cells in the cuttings will need moisture to begin knitting together to create a root system.
  2. Cuttings root best in a loose, airy growing medium that drains well. Mix equal parts of river sand and peat (if you’re buying peat in a block, soak it first).
  3. Harvest cuttings from the parent plant using a sharp blade or secateurs and make sure your tools are clean to reduce the risk of introducing harmful pathogens.
  4. Remove the lower leaves using the blade or secateurs, leaving three to five sets of leaves on the tip of the cutting. Then trim the stem just below a node so that each cutting is about 8 cm long.
  5. Moisten the tips of each cutting and dip them into a medium-strength rooting powder such as Dynaroot.
  6. Plant six to eight cuttings into each 15 cm pot.
  7. Water thoroughly before covering each pot with a plastic bag supported by a wire frame or a clear plastic bottle end.
  8. Position the pots in a semi-shaded spot and water as the growing medium gets dry on the surface.
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