Propagation part 1: Taking Semi-ripe Plant Cuttings.

IMG_0092.JPG
Osteospermum ‘Pink Whirls’

I find this one of the most satisfying horticultural tasks & a great way to increase plant stock.

Step 1. Select the right type of plant for semi-ripe cuttings.Its pleasantly surprising just how many plants can be propagated at this time of year by selecting semi-ripe cuttings. Healthy, vigorous side shoots without flowering buds from this years growth are best. The same method applies whether its a half hardy perennial  (e.g. argyranthemum, osteospermum, pelargonium or fuchsia) or semi-tender or root hardy shrubs.

Step 2. Heel cuttings where the cutting is pulled away with a piece of  stem from the stock plant have the added advantage of giving the cutting a kick start to root faster.

IMG_0519.JPGStep 3. The cuttings are vulnerable so need to be kept moist in a bag & put into growing media as soon as possible! Using a sharp clean cuttings knife, make clean cuts clearing away any foliage approx 2cm from the rooting tip this will help prevent the cutting from rotting.

img_0509Step 4. Dip the prepared cuttings into rooting hormone to further prevent the cuttings from rotting.

IMG_0510.JPG

img_0508Step 5. Mark out a row in your growing media. Here at Logan Botanic Garden a peat & perlite growing media mix is used for all cuttings in a heated bench to 21 centigrade in a glasshouse. With a pencil thickness dibber mark out holes along your row & gently place a cutting into each hole & firm in as you go along to ensure the cutting is upright.

img_0512img_0516IMG_0520.JPGIMG_0524.JPGStep 6. Label, date & water cuttings. Then cover the entire heated bench with a plastic sheet to increase the right growing conditions of hot,humid & wet.

IMG_0526.JPGStep 7. Check every other day for four weeks watering as required, removing any debris, diseased or damaged cuttings as you go along.