How To Take Cuttings For Plant Propagation

If you are trying to root stem cuttings to produce new plants, then taking plant cuttings is an important step. If the cuttings are not correct and proper, then your whole effort and time will go waste.

Learn the correct way and tips for taking cuttings for plant propagation so that you always succeed in rooting a cutting (how to propagate plants).

How To Take Cuttings For Propagation

Tips For Cuttings

Planting cuttings of blueberries
  1. Avoid taking cuttings when the plant is in flower.
  2. Avoid taking cuttings from plants that are water stressed.
  3. The cutting should have at least 2 to 3 nodes and of a pencil length, about 10 - 12 cm (4 - 5 inch) and 3-4 cm thick.
  4. The lower cut should be just below a node (leaf joint) and at on an angle. This node will be in the growing medium (soil) where the roots will develop. The leaf nodes contain a large area of meristem tissue containing meristem cells that can grow and divide to form various kinds of cells for plant growth, including roots using the plant’s own hormones, auxin and cytokinin.
  5. Some species are difficult to root at nodes, so they should be wounded to encourage rooting. Scrape  the outer layer of bark of the stem at the base or make small cuts on either side of the stem at the base.
  6. Remove all the leaves except the top two leaf sets. If the leaves are too broad like that of hibiscus plant, cut them to half or roll them and put rubber bands over them. It is thought that leaves have an ability to generate hormones suitable for developing roots. Cutting or rolling the leaves will prevent too much moisture loss through the leaves.
  7. Do not allow cuttings to expose in full sunlight, keep them in shade.
  8. Keep the cuttings cool until they are placed into the propagating medium. If you need considerable time for potting up, you can store the cuttings in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  9. If you are taking cuttings from your friend's or neighbor's house, wrap them in a moist paper  and enclose it in a plastic bag.
  10. Types of plant cuttings for propagation

Best Time For Propagation

Best time for propagation is early morning, when the plant tissues contain the most water.

Best Soil For Plant propagation

Any medium which provides moisture and oxygen in the right balance and is free of disease, insects and weed seeds can be used for propagating cuttings.
  1. The medium in which the roots form should be porous for good aeration and drainage. The roots will rot if there is no air. Capable of moisture retention.
  2. Low in fertilization to avoid root burning when they form. Also the cuttings do not have roots to be able to use it.
  3. Materials commonly used as propagating medium are coarse river sand, regular potting mix, coconut coir, perlite, peat  or a mixture of these. 
  4. An equal mix of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite can be used as a rooting medium. 
  5. I generally use garden potting mix and river sand in equal amounts with high success rate.
  6. Do not use beach sand because it does not allow for sufficient aeration, however, coarse river sand is good.
  7. For propagation for cactus-type plants and bougainvillea, coarse perlite or river sand alone can be used to start some cuttings.

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