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Softish cuttings

WaysideWayside Posts: 845
edited April 2019 in Problem solving
So today I've removed a buddleia, it's a nice white one, something I've been meaning to do for ages.  Before hacking down, I thought I'd take some cuttings.  I found a youtube video, where a chap had bought a new plant, and said at the beginning of the year soft wood cuttings would do fine.  Anyway I cut some ends off, pinched out the tops, covered in hormone rooting powder, and put in the corners of a pot, and watered a lot.  Soon after as with all my softy attempts, the cuttings just look like they want to give up hope and die and wither away.  I've managed to propagate viburnum, grissilinia, and one st johns wort, and a few forsythia in the past.  Softer cuttings I never appear to have success I tried to do some lilac last year and they lasted all but a day or two.

What's rather infuriating is that when I chuck them on a compost heap, twiggier stuff, they root all over the place!

It is too late now for that old shrub.  So one of the cuttings had better take.

Any tips?


  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    edited April 2019
    I always use some bottom heat on softwood cuttings. if you can provide that it helps at this time of the year when temperatures are still up and down. Just to add, don't water too much as that can cause rot. 
    SW Scotland
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,439
    Put a plastic bag over it so it doesn't wilt. Plastic pop bottle will do over a 3 inch round pot.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 845
    Okay update on this.  I had forsythia and buddleia cuttings, I kept them misted, they looked terrible, and one day, hey presto they perked up and rooted.  And the forsythia ended up being more of a success than the more twiggy stuff, that seemed incredibly easy to root.

    The buddleia even flowered.  I was pretty impressed.  Lost some over winter, and should have potted on the buddleia this year, or planted out.  But was buoyed with some success.

    Sadly haven't gotten around to doing any this year.  As I've just been watching my tomatoes grow.  Cuttings are very rewarding though.
  • pitter-patterpitter-patter Posts: 2,378
    Thank you for the update. I’m glad you were successful in the end. I’m trying a lot of softwood cuttings this year: euonymus, weigela, hebe, penstemon, gaura. I hope they’ll take. At least one of each.
    I’m great at taking cuttings.  But I’m very impatient and have to keep ‘wiggling’ them to see if they’ve got roots and anchored themselves in the compost !   I should leave them alone to get on with it.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    I had my first cutting success last year with two Hypericums, this year so far I've got a hydrangea cutting doing well, and might try and get a few more.  Its a bit addictive!

    I put plastic bags over the top and tape around the edges so the moisture is trapped in and can't seep out round the edges of the pot.  Seems to work well so far.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 845
    Oh yes, I also had success with hypericums that I took very early.  I trimmed an evergreen euyonmus and had a go with dozens of those cuttings, and most took.  And I took some evergreen honeysuckle, and cotoneaster.  They both did well.  After I was just annoyed that I didn't try my nicer specimens!  I tried small twigs of shrubby germander, these took an age, but eventually got there.  So it was a good year.  I've just got to now keep up the watering and find homes/spots for them.
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