How Scissors and Clippers Can Give New, Free Plants (Part 2 of 2)


(Part 1 of this post, all about rooting cuttings in water, can be found here)

Rooting plant cuttings in water may be the easiest way to propagate new plants, but I think plunging that cutting in soil is a close second.

Certainly, both methods can fail. Some cuttings refuse, for reasons unknown, to grow roots. Sometimes a cutting loses too much water through its leaves before a significant root system develops. Sometimes a cutting rots. But taking cuttings is so easy, even if our success rate is low, we are likely to create a surprising number of new plants for our gardens.

These baby plants will be smaller than the plants we typically see at our garden centers, and will need more care and attention than a plant with a larger root system. But most likely we will be surprised at just how quickly these new plants establish and grow.

Here is a helpful tutorial with instructions for three different methods of growing new shrubs from cuttings.

Boxwoods are a popular landscape plant that are especially easy to grow from cuttings. Forget that jar of water on your countertop: simply stick the bare stems of a six-inch stem into fertile soil.

Here is a blogger who shows us just how easy this can be.

Finally, here are some of the terms you are likely to encounter as you research propagation methods and plants you might consider propagating:

Softwood Cuttings: these are cuttings of fresh, new growth.

  • aster
  • butterfly bush
  • salvia
  • rose

Greenwood (or Herbaceous) Cuttings: these cuttings come from plants without woody stems

  • dahlia
  • gardenia

Semi-Ripe / Semi-Hardwood Cuttings:

  • azalea
  • camellia

Hardwood Cuttings:

  • deciduous shrubs
  • vines
  • fruit plants
  • trees


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Posted on

June 9, 2020

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