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Expand Your Garden with Plant Cuttings

Expand your indoor and outdoor gardens on a budget.

Turn a few leggy houseplants and overwintering annuals, like geraniums into lots of beautiful plants for your garden with cuttings.

Start with pruners, a garden scissors, or a sharp knife and take cuttings about 3 to 4 inches long. I like to make my cutting right above a set of healthy leaves so the remaining stem and plant looks nice.

Once you have your cutting, remove the lower leaves, any buds, and flowers that may be on that cutting. If you’ve had trouble rooting in the past, use a rooting hormone.  It contains fungicides to prevent rot and hormones to encourage root development.

Dip the cut end in the hormone and stick it in vermiculite or well-drained potting mix to root. Cover the pot loosely with a plastic bag and move to a bright, well-lit location, out of direct sun, for several weeks to root.

You’ll soon have lots of plants to add to your garden and share with your friends.

A bit more information: Starting trees and shrubs from cuttings is much more difficult.  Timing is critical for success.  Try using softwood cuttings when starting new lilacs, forsythia, magnolia, weigela, fruits and other non-patented varieties of trees and shrubs. Take several 3 to 5 inch cuttings from tender new growth early in the day.  Remove any flowers, buds or seed heads.  Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone for woody plants and stick it in vermiculite or a well-drained potting mix as soon as possible.  Keep the rooting mix moist, the humidity high and the soil warm for best results.  These cuttings should root in 2 to 4 weeks.

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