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hardwood cuttings

nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122

I have a problem with cuttings generally. I know where to cut and that's about all I know. When, where to put them, how to look after them, those are the mysteries. I'd like to take some hardwood cuttings and I think that's now. 

So: are they in the ground or in pots? Do I use rooting compound or not? Do I wait til the leaves come off?, remove the leaves, leave them on? All advice gratefuly received.

There have been successes over the years but I think it's been down to luck rather than skill. For a gardener of of my age and experience it's pretty disgraceful.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,326

    Yes, now is a good time, and you can take them throughout the winter right up until just before plants start back into growth in the spring.  If you have space to allocate to them in a bed for 12 months and you have a lot of cuttings to take then you can put them there in the ground.

     I usually put mine in large pots of gritty compost and keep them in the cold frame.  Hardwood cuttings of deciduous shrubs will be losing/have lost their leaves anyway so I don't worry too much about them.

     If you're taking cuttings that you wish to grow into a tree, or a bush on a single stem like gooseberries, then remove  side buds from the top third of the cutting, leaving one bud at the tip; the bottom two thirds of the cutting will be below the ground.

    I leave my cuttings until the following autumn before potting on, unless they're making a lot of growth when I do it sooner to avoid too much disturbance to the roots.

    Lots of good advice here

    My granny never used rooting hormone and her cuttings always seemed to strike.  However, I use a rooting gel, and mine seem to work just as well, and there's just the chance that Granny didn't come clean about the ones that didin't take image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122

    Thank you. I'll think I'll use the pots method, or maybe some of each and see what does best. Will they need some shade through the summer or will they be rooted by then and able to cope with sun? I know it's the aftercare where I fall down, forget to water, let them get overcome by weeds, move them too soon, decide they've died then find roots that I've just broken.......... 

    I don't think anything I'm wanting to take cuttings from is particularly difficult. There's a philadelphus that's getting swamped, a lovely pale forsythia that may be suspensa, I may try lots and see how I get on, I can always give them away.

    Thanks again, there may be more queries yet!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,326

    I should have said, I usually take the pots out of the cold frame when I need the space in there for growing on my seedlings in the spring,  and put them in a quiet relatively shady corner  - last summer my cuttings were gathered in the shade at the north side of a raised bed where I was growing courgettes, so I was able to keep an eye on them every day when watering and picking the courgettes.  If you stand them in a gravel tray and keep that with some water in it that can help.

    Leave them where they are for at least 12 months or until they are making visible new top growth.

    We've got a forsythia in this garden which had to be chopped when the fence was replaced just after we moved here, so we've not seen it bloom yet - it's new growth looks as if it might be suspensa - I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122

    Thanks again, I'll keep you informed

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Last year I did my hardwood cuttings in a pot so I could mix in loads of grit and when they announced the hosepipe ban in Spring I then planted my pot in the garden. It is very easy to forget to water them but this seemed to work well and when I looked at them in September I had 4 rooted cuttings.

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    I have found this thread really useful. I have a lovely scented shrub - n o idea what it is - and have tried softwood cuttings. Your advice + RHS makes me think I will give it another go with hardwood cuttings, in a pot. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122

    Thank you Dove, I've taken a couple of different buddleias, Ribes 'White Icicle'. Loniceras, (one of the winter flowering shrubby ones and 'Graham Stuart Thomas'), Hippophae rhamnoides, (from the only female specimen  in all those I grew from seed), Weigela 'Dart's Colour Dream'  and Philadelphus coronarius.

    That'll do for now

    I'll pose my next question (s) in a separate post.

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Just come in after taking cuttings from my mysterious shrub. Have put 5 in a long pot, think it had a rose in it, and followed all instructions, made a compost mix of, JI3, pot compost and grit. Have dated pot, and as I do not have a cold frame (must put it on one of my Christmas lists!) have popped it in far corner of my unheated greenhouse, just have to remember to water it occassionally.

    Current plan is to plant pot put in spring

    Reading posts again I think a gravel tray for pot would be an idea. Am I right?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,122

    Have you got a pic of your unidentified shrub Bjay? Someone's bound to recognise it. 

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Yes I know but I don't think I have a pic Had already noted down to photo and post next year.

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