Forum home Plants

Herb cuttings in the winter?

wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,557
My father in law just asked me for some cuttings of my sage bush. I promised to sort some out with him in the spring but it got me thinking about whether I could get a jump on things using one of our heated propagators and a grow light. I had a quick google but I'm not clear if the donor plant needs to be vigorously growing for cuttings to work or if cuttings material can be kickstarted into growing using extra light and heat. Has anyone tried this?
A great library has something in it to offend everybody.

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,569
    Not with ordinary sage. I took petrovskia cuttings about 3 weeks ago (I was cutting it back so stuck a few bits in a pot, just on the off chance) and I'd say 25% have taken - they're in an unheated greenhouse. I also took some lemon verbena cuttings a couple of weeks ago, about 75% success and they are growing away on the bathroom windowsill. Lavender on the other hand is not working at all, inside or out.

    I would take the view there's not much to lose by giving it a go. It's the best way to learn - try it and see  :)
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • If it's a large sage bush it may already have put out suckers that have rooted and could be separated  off. Otherwise, give it a go, why not? I am not sure a heated propogator would help much, as they are tough, hardy plants. If it fails, try again in late springtime.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,557
    Well both my green sage bushes died over the winter. The purple and tricolour survived fine though oddly and I thought they were more tender. I took some cuttings from a plant I gave to my mum though and now I've got about 10 cuttings rooted in one pot. I've given them a tug and they don't pull out and there's a couple of roots showing through the holes in the base of the pot. Would I be jumping the gun to separate them now or should I do it before the roots get too advanced?
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,557
    Ok I took them all out and out of 10 cuttings only 1 hadn't rooted. I put that one and one with only a few roots back in the original pot but the others have all done really nicely. It was a good call to repot them I think as they weren't far off getting tangled up in there.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,623
    Well done you.

    I am miffed because I didn't take cuttings of my plain green sage, expecting it to enjoy life in a sunnier, better drained garden than the one it used to live in in Belgium.  It came thru winter fine but in the last couple of weeks has gone completely dead and dry.

    The tricolour sage, rosemary, thymes, oregano and winter savoury all clearly love it here.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,557
    The plants are really taking off now but they're getting a bit tall. Should I pinch or snip the tops off and how low do you think I should take them down too? Pictured is a fairly typical example. There's already roots showing at the base of the pot if that makes a difference.



    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,000
    I’d cut that back by just over a half. I think that would leave you with 3 ‘sets’ of leaves and a plant slightly less than the height of the pot. It should bush out nicely. You can use the leaves you cut off - either for cooking or more cuttings!
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,557
    Topbird said:
    I’d cut that back by just over a half. I think that would leave you with 3 ‘sets’ of leaves and a plant slightly less than the height of the pot. It should bush out nicely. You can use the leaves you cut off - either for cooking or more cuttings!
    Thanks. I tried this on a couple of them and the side growth is shooting out rapidly now and it's getting quite bushy. Good suggestion with the offcuts too. I've kept them in water ready to shove into a roast chicken.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
Sign In or Register to comment.