Cuttings – Grow Plants the Easy Way!

 In Environmental Education, Gardening

(Tulsi Growing Roots)

Have you ever tried to propagate plants from cuttings? It’s a fun and rewarding way to acquire new plants and increase the biodiversity in your garden or yard. All you need are some sharp scissors or a knife, access to a plant that you’d like to grow, and water or soil. It’s that easy!

Cuttings are an affordable way to propagate new plants. When you grow from cuttings, you’re making a clone of the parent or mother plant. Your new plant will be genetically identical to the parent plant, so it’s important to take your cuttings from healthy plants with abundant foliage.

Plants that take well to cuttings include herbs like Lavender, Rosemary, Mints, Lemon Balm, and Basil, perennial plants like Salvia, Plectranthus, Scented Pelargoniums (more commonly known as Geraniums), and flowers like Jasmine, Rose, and Fushcia.

(Mint Chocolate Scented Pelargonium)

When I make a cutting, I cut off a piece of the stem of the plant, just below a leaf node. A node is the area on the stem where leaves and aerial roots emerge. It’s a good idea to take at least 3 to 5 cuttings of a plant, because some of them won’t take. I make my cuts at an angle and usually cut at least 5 inches of stem. I remove the lower leaves and leave a few leaves on at the top of the stem for photosynthesis.

Some plants, like Mint and Basil, I place in water, out of direct sun. They root very quickly. Once the roots are about 1 to 2 inches, I plant them in soil.

Other plant cuttings like Salvia or Lavender, I put directly in a pot of soil and place the pot in indirect light. These seem to root more slowly and prefer to start in soil.

Many people dip the tip of their cutting stem in rooting hormone. I don’t, but I have tried honey as an alternative. You can plant a few different cuttings in the same pot, but make sure the leaves don’t touch. Once the roots are healthy enough, you can transplant your new plants in your yard or garden or continue to grow them in pots.

If you have a rose you particularly love, a culinary or medicinal herb you’d like to grow, or a plant that you want more of, cuttings are a fun project! Right now, I have cuttings of Lavender, Pelargonium, Night Blooming Jasmine, and Horehound just starting to grow. I can’t wait to include them in my garden and watch them flourish.

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