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The Secret to Multiplying Your Plants: Stem Cutting Essentials


Imagine having the power to create a botanical clone of your favourite plant with just a snip of a scissor. Picture nurturing life from a tiny, seemingly ordinary stem cutting, watching it grow into a flourishing new plant, rich with the character and charm of its parent. This magical art is not the stuff of fantasy but the reality of plant propagation through stem cuttings. It's a horticultural journey that offers gardeners and plant enthusiasts an enchanting path to multiply their green treasures. Join us as we embark on a captivating journey through the world of stem cuttings, where ordinary clippings become the seeds of botanical dreams.

Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cuttings are taken from young, tender stems. Here's how to do it:

Choose healthy, non-flowering stems.

Cut a 4-6 inch section just below a leaf node.

Remove the lower leaves to expose the node.

Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (optional).

Plant the cutting in a well-draining medium.

Keep the medium consistently moist and provide indirect light.

This method is ideal for plants like coleus, basil, and many annuals. Lavender, Fuchsia, Salvia, Dahlia, Boxwood, Hydrangea, Euonymus, Weigela, Rosemary, Wisteria.

Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

Semi-hardwood cuttings are taken from partially mature stems. Here's the process:

Select a 4-6 inch section of stem with semi-ripe wood.

Cut just below a leaf node.

Remove the lower leaves.

Dip in rooting hormone.

Plant in a suitable growing medium.

Maintain humidity and warmth.

This method works well for plants like rosemary, lavender, and many shrubs. Lilac, Camellia, Lavender, Blueberries, Boxwood, Holly, Hydrangea, Forsythia, Figs, Euonymus

Hardwood Cuttings

Hardwood cuttings are harvested from mature, woody stems in late winter or early spring:

Cut a 6-12 inch section from the previous year's growth.

Make a slanted cut at the top and a straight cut at the bottom.

Dip in rooting hormone.

Plant in a well-draining medium, burying two-thirds of the cutting.

Keep the medium consistently moist.

Hardwood cuttings are suitable for propagating trees and woody shrubs like dogwood and willow.Grapes, Currants, Roses, Blueberries, Elderberries, Willows, Clematis, Forsythia, Dogwood, Hydrangea.

Leaf-Bud Cuttings

This method involves taking a leaf with a small portion of stem attached:

Select a healthy leaf with an intact bud.

Cut the leaf and a small piece of stem below it.

Dip in rooting hormone.

Plant it in a suitable medium.

Keep it humid and warm.

Leaf-bud cuttings are commonly used for begonias and some succulents. Roses, Grapevines, Apple, Plum, Pear, Currants, Camellias, Figs, Hydrangeas, Lilacs, Kiwi, Japanese Maples

Cane Cuttings

Cane cuttings are used for plants with long, segmented stems, like bamboo:

Cut a section of cane with at least two nodes.

Make sure each section has at least one viable bud.

Plant horizontally, burying one node and leaving the other exposed.

Keep the medium consistently moist. Raspberry, Grapevines, Blackberry, Blueberry,

Elderberry, Bamboo, Crape Myrtle, Forsythia, Hydrangeas

Root Cuttings

For some plants, you can propagate using root cuttings:

Dig up a healthy root section.

Cut it into pieces, ensuring each piece has a bud or shoot.

Plant these pieces horizontally in a growing medium.

This method is often used for plants like irises. Horseradish, Sweet potato, Japanese

Anemone, Comfrey, Oriental poppy, Aconitum, Bloodroot, Hops,

Yarrow, Bear’s breeches

Heel cuttings: it is done where a piece of stem is pulled off with a piece of stem is attached .Select a side shoot and pull down gently so a tail of bark of main stem comes with it.Trim the tail end and remove the bottom leaves dip in rooting hormone.Common propagated plants are Roses, Clematis, Wisteria, Honeysuckle, Weigela, Philadelphus, Abelia, Spiraea, and Forsythia

Single Node cuttings: Involves a single node (the point where leaves

attach) and a piece of stem Mint, Spider plant, Rosemary, Peppermint,

Lemon Balm, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Lavender, Basil

Mallet cuttings: Mallet cutting involves a section of last years growth which has a side shoot of current seasons semi-ripe growth of it.A section of 1 cm length is removed both above and below the side shoots.The lower leaves and soft tips of side shoots are removed and used.

Examples include Berberis, Beaumontia grandiflora

Crown cuttings: It is the easiest way to propagate plants it Involves cutting sections from the crown or base of a plant where stem meets the roots, often used for perennials. Used to propagate bulbs such as garlic and saffron. Flowering plants like Orchids, Carnations, Rose plant, Daylilies and Dahlias are also commonly propagated by this method.


Propagation through stem cuttings is a cost-effective and satisfying way to expand your garden or share your favorite plants with friends and family. By mastering various methods, you can unlock a world of possibilities and cultivate a diverse and vibrant garden. Remember that each plant species may have specific requirements, so research and experimentation are key to successful propagation. Happy gardening!

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