Hardwood Cuttings Technique
How to take hardwood cuttings in 5 Easy Steps from woody perennials and shrubs such as buddleia, choisya, roses and cornus.
One of the most pleasant jobs of gardening is propagating and nurturing new plants.
The hardwood cuttings technique is very straight forward and it is satisfying to see new shoots emerge, that can be grown on to become healthy larger plants.
As days become shorter and darker and the weather takes a down turn, our opportunities to work in the garden are less.
Tasks such as propagating can be done indoors, in the kitchen, potting shed or greenhouse once you have the growing materials, so this allows us to continue taking the benefits of gardening as much as we can.
Propagating your own plants is an easy skill to learn and will boost your confidence as a gardener and your enjoyment of your outdoor space.
It will also save you money, particularly if you need a lot of plants for a hedge or for boundary planting for example.
Taking cuttings also ensures that you have new healthy stock to replace any diseased or damaged plants.
Always take cuttings from healthy plant shoots and stems.
Suitable Plants for Hardwood Cuttings
This method is suitable for most deciduous shrubs and woody perennials such as:
- Flowering currant
- Black currant
Some evergreen shrubs like holly, skimmia and cotoneaster can also be propagated this way.
When to Take Hardwood Cuttings
Autumn is the optimum time for taking cuttings from your favourite deciduous shrubs in order to grow more plants to fill spaces or to share with friends and fellow gardeners. In autumn these plants are going into their dormant stage, they are not using energy to produce flowers. Their hormone levels are high which means they produce good strong roots.
They can be rooted in the ground or pots. If you need to propagate a lot of cuttings for say a hedge then plant the cuttings in a trench, in a sheltered area. Line the trench with a layer of sharp sand or grit. Place your cuttings 5cm apart.
Tools for the Job
- Sharp, clean secateurs, The Best Secateurs
- Loam based compost with added grit or sharp sand What is the best soil for plants?
- Clean pots
- Rooting hormone powder
Hardwood Cuttings in 5 Easy Steps
Take cuttings from ripened shoots that are approximately 6-8mm thick, make the cut just below a leaf node or bud.
Trim the cuttings cleanly to about 20cm long.
Trim the tip just above a bud and the base below another bud.
Dip each cutting into rooting hormone powder and insert them about 10cm deep into your pot of loam based compost.
How Long do Hardwood Cuttings Take to Root?
Cuttings can take up to 12 months to root, so leave them somewhere they won’t be disturbed, a cold frame is ideal.
Keep the cuttings watered.
In spring you should start to see new shoots, leave them to continue to produce a strong root system taking care to keep them watered through dry, hot weather.
For my tips and guide to growing plants from seed please read How to Grow Seeds. 5 Easy Steps
It is also very easy to propagate plants by taking root cuttings, here is my guide in Easy Steps.
I hope this quick and easy ‘How to do’ was useful for you, if so please share with friends and family and on social media.
Any questions or feedback can be left in the comments box below. Have you had cuttings success? Let me know.