Cuttings By Mark Danner

Crescent City Branch

Taking soft wood cuttings is rather very easy! Here is a list of what you need:

1. A plastic flower pot. I prefer the cutting trays with the 72 individual cells; however, a 5" deep flower pot with drain holes will do!

2. Dry or liquid rooting hormone. Not necessary, but helpful in stimulating quicker and stronger roots. Note: I use regular household cinnamon — 1/2 tea spoon in a small glass of water!

3. Clean sterile potting mix. Fill the pot 3/4 full.

4. A sharp knife or pair of sharp edged pruning shears.

Taking the cuttings!

The best time to take cuttings is in the morning before the sun becomes too hot and the plant begins to lose water! Always plants up several cuttings in one go as this reduces the chances of failure!

1. Make an angle cut on a stem 3 to 6 inches in length.

2. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and trim the stem just below a node. The node is where the stem protrudes out from the stem which either forms leaves or, in this case, will forms roots.

3. Once you have done this, plant your cutting in the pot. Poke holes in the potting soil with just about anything! Pencil, pen, small stick, you get the picture. Dip the cutting into whatever hormone you have decided to use — or not, and place the cutting gently into the prepared hole so that the lower leaves are just above the soil level. Firm the soil around the cutting and water lightly. (I use a couple of caps full of vitamin B1 in a one gallon watering jug.)

4. Cover the cuttings with a plastic bag or the lid of the cutting tray. Place the cuttings in a well-lit but not overly sunny area, with a temperature of about 70°. Hopefully they haven't wilted and in about three weeks gently pull on the cuttings; if they resist, gently turn the pot over and slide the soil out. You should see tiny thread size white roots.

5. Separate them by gently pulling each cutting from the clump. Now you can repot each cutting in its own individual pot and again water well.

That is all there is to it!