Growing shrubs from Summer cuttings

There are plenty of shrubs that are easily propagated from summer cuttings. The following shrubs are all easy to propagaye from nodal cuttings and are a good starting point for the novice:

  • Buddlela
  • Cistus
  • Cytisus
  • Escallonia
  • Hebe
  • Helianthemum
  • Hydrangea
  • Lavatera
  • Philadelphus
  • Spiraea

  1. Choose a healthy, fairly young, parent plant with plenty of new growth.
  2. Using a sharp knife or secateurs, cut off a few big bits of new growth that are just starting to turn woody at the base.
  3. On the potting bench (or odd piece of board), trim each cutting to the required length (7.5cm to 15 cm), make the lower cut in new wood just below a leaf.
  4. Remove all leaves from the lower half of the cutting and, if the upper leaves are large, cut these in half to reduce waterless. Remove flower buds.
  5. Dip the cut base in hormone rooting powder as this speeds the rooting of almost all cuttings and, with the addition of a fungicide, reduces the chances of rotting.
  6. Insert 6 to 8 cuttings into a 7.5 cm pot filled with free-draining compost. A 50:50 mix of potting compost and sharp sand is fine for most situations, Perlite or vermiculite can also be added.
  7. Semi-mature cuttings need some protection from water loss while they root and should be kept in a humid atmosphere. Commercially, this is provided by misting, but on a small scale, a polythene bag placed over the pot and secured with a rubber band makes a suitable mini-propagator. Use wire hoops inside the bag to hold the bag away from the foliage to improve air circulation.
  8. Additional heating is not usually required at this time of year. Just place the cuttings in a sheltered bright spot in the garden out of direct sunlight.
  9. Check every few days and remove any rotting material. Resist the temptation to keep tugging on the cuttings to see if they have rooted. Most cuttings will root in 2 to 8 weeks. Look for new growth or roots appearing out of the bottom of the pot.
  10. Harden off the cuttings into a less protected environment over a few days before you pot them on into small pots of potting compost.
  11. Leave the cuttings in pots over winter, and plant them out in the following spring.

The end result will be new shrubs FREE !!