I’ve never had a tremendous amount of luck with taking cuttings. Its certainly something I want to get better at and need to practice more. I do love that Gardener’s World reminds and teaches me how and when to take specific cuttings- its fantastically helpful for a newbie propagator like me. It also reminds me that I have a really great book about propagating called, fittingly, Making More Plants (by Ken Druse). Its really good!
A few weeks ago Carol Klein was on GW talking about Sedum and how easy it was to take leaf cuttings. I have Sedum! And I love the plants and want more (especially for the Dry Garden/Cottage Garden transition). And I would be delighted to get them extra cheaply (FREE!). And I don’t mind if they are small and take bit to get big.
So I plodded out with a sharp knife (I prefer Havalon knives for this- the replaceable blades are always nice and sharp and the handle feels easy to manipulate with my smaller hands- some knives are so obviously made for larger men’s hands and never feel right to do delicate work with) and took some leaf cuttings, trimmed them up in the greenhouse (I keep an old wood cutting board in there for these sorts of things) and popped the leaves into some sharp draining soil. Most of the soil I use for things like this is 75% native soil to my house (stolen from mole mounds and obviously quite sandy) and the remaining 25% is granite chips and potting soil.
Please ignore the spiderweb at the bottom. The greenhouse is (apparently) a great home for spiders and they help keep the other bugs in check, so I tend to leave them alone to do their thing and spin webs on my cutting containers. As you do.
I put the cuttings in one of my boot trays turned plant trays and put a propagator lid atop them and let them be for a few weeks. Obviously I never let them dry out, but I didn’t do much more. Just wait to see if they took. One or two leaves got a bit brown and mushy so I pulled them right away, but the rest stayed green and healthy looking.
Cut to 2-3 weeks later: Would you look at those wee little babies!?!? It worked!
I’ve only planted out a few as its been unseasonably warm these past few days and my fall-planting plans are on hold. But at this rate, I’ve got roughly 80% success, I’ll have a good number of plants to get in the ground next week.
Yay free plants! Do you have propagation tips and techniques you’d like to share? I would certainly love to hear them! I’ve never tried root or semi-ripe cuttings- what do you have the best luck with?