Moving House: Take cuttings of your favourite trees

Do you have a few favourite plants and trees you are going to miss when you move? Don't leave them behind, don't buy new plants and trees, take some cuttings and grow new ones!

Here's a guide to get you going.

You will need:

  • Potting mix
  • Small planter pots
  • Sharp secateurs
  • Gloves (for roses)
  • Rooting hormone gel or powder
  • Mini greenhouse or Plastic bag
  • Dust mask (for using potting mix)

    Step 1. Take tip cuttings with 4 – 6 nodes (leaf growth points) at least 10cm long.

    Step 2. Remove the leaves and flower buds and cut just below the node. Leaves flower buds will suck the nutrition out from the plant that it needs to grow new roots.

    Step 3. Now it's time to treat the cutting. Coat the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone gel or powder.

    Step 4. Use a pencil to make a hole in the potting mix and insert the cut to about 2.5-5cm deep, making sure there are several nodes in the soil. Firm soil around the cut.

    Step 5. Lightly water the cut with a spray bottle ensuring to keep it moist while it takes root.

    Step 6. Keep the cutting in a mini greenhouse out of direct sunlight. Or cover with a loose plastic bag to allow airflow and retain moisture.

    Step 7. It should take between 6-8 weeks for a cutting to take root (sometimes sooner or longer). Check this by giving the cutting a gentle tug. If there is resistance, it means the roots have begun to grow.

    Step 8. Now the cut has taken root you can transfer each individual cutting into its own pot. This will allow the cutting to continue its growth before transplanting into the ground.

    TIPS:
    Keep the cuttings out of direct sun as the UV rays are hard and intense on the roots.
    Larger trees will require larger/longer cuttings.
    Cuttings will be genetically identical to the parent plant.
    The best time to take cuttings is late spring or early summer.
    Several cuttings can be grown in the same pot. Be sure to leave ample room in between cut so growing roots don't tangle.
    Label the pot with plant and date so you know how long it has been growing.
    Not all species can grow from a cutting.
    Cuttings generally take between 4-10 weeks to grow roots.
    Use slow release plant food once transplanted into the ground if necessary.
    Trial and error. Try again if your cutting hasn't grown a new root system.

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