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How To Propagate Semi Ripe Stem Cuttings

How To Propagate Semi Ripe Stem Cuttings

Tom Cole from Capel Manor College shows us how to propagate from semi ripe stem cuttings. This is a way of growing new plants from an established plant.

Step 1: You will need

  • healthy parent plant
  • secateurs
  • plant pot
  • cutting soil
  • striking board
  • firming board
  • dibber
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • rooting powder
  • protective gloves
  • clear plastic bag
  • string
  • watering can
  • rose attachment
  • indelible pen
  • plant labels

Step 2: Take the cutting

Select a healthy, well watered parent plant. Look for a branch with many young, leafy shoots. Cut at the base to remove the entire branch, you can take the individual stem cuttings later. Place the branch in a large plastic bag to prevent it from drying out.

Remove several suitable branches from the parent tree, this will maximise your choice of cuttings. Always take from the outer edges of the plant as these branches are the most vigorous, making them more likely to root.

Shrubs with variated leaves, meaning the leaves are two colours, will sometimes produce the odd single coloured shoot. This is due to stress, avoid taking cuttings from these shoots as they will only produce similar, one colour, shrubs.

Once you have collected all the cuttings immerse them in a large bowl of water, this prevents wilting while you carry out the next steps

Step 3: Prepare the pot

Fill the pot up with the soil. Sweep away the excess soil with a striking board, and use a firming board to press down to about 1 centimetre from the lip.

Step 4: Remove the cutting

Feel the shoot, if the tip is too pliable snip it off, otherwise it will rot. The ideal cutting will have 4 leaf junctions and be about 10 to 15 centimetres long. Have a look at the possible stem cuttings on one of your selected branches. Cut at an angle just below the 4th junction to remove it from the branch. This removal method is called a stem-tip cutting

Step 5: De-leaf and score

Place the stem on the cutting board and trim off the bottom 2 sets of leaves. Slice off one side of the very bottom tip of the stem - this exposes more of the tissue which produces the root, maximising the chances of success.

Step 6: The rooting powder

Put on the protective gloves before you handle the powder. Dip just the very bottom, exposed area of the stem in rooting powder. Make sure it has covered the area well.

Step 7: Trim the leaves

Cut the large leaves in half. These take up valuable growing energy which instead needs to be directed to the developing roots.

Step 8: Plant

With the dibber make a hole in the soil at the edge of the pot. Place the shoot in as far as the remaining leaves and firm the soil around it. It's wise to plant the cuttings at the edge of the pot so that they can naturally draw off the moisture they need, if planted in the middle they would sit in too much water and could rot.

Step 9: Repeat

It is fine to place several cuttings in one pot as long as the leaves are not touching the neighbouring cutting. Repeat this process until the pot can hold no further cuttings

Step 10: Shorter cuttings

If your shoot has less than 4 leaf junctions tear it away from the branch taking some of the old wood with it. This method is called a heel cutting. The larger exposed area of old wood gives the shorter shoot a better chance of rooting. Trim as before. Dip the exposed area into the rooting powder and plant

Step 11: Label

Use an indelible pen to write the variety of plant on one side of the label, and the date on the other side. Place this in the pot

Step 12: Water

Turn the rose on the watering can upwards and begin running the water at the side of the pot. This prevents disruption to the soils surface. Water heavily.

Step 13: Leave to grow

Place the pot in a large clear plastic bag

Blow into the bag before you seal it to enrich the carbon dioxide content.

The bag acts like a mini green house keeping the air warm, and sealing in the moisture and humidity. Leave it to grow in a warm light area, but out of direct sunlight. A window sill is ideal.

Step 14: Reacclimatise

After a week and a half c