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Penstemon cuttings

This is my first shot at taking cuttings of any sort.  Recently Monty demonstrated taking penstemon cuttings on GW and at the end said, "Put the pots somewhere warm."  I was going to put them in my polycarbonate cold growhouse as I don't have a greenhouse.  Will they root in there, up in North Yorkshire? Should I put polythene bags over the pots? Do I need to mist them as Monty said?  Should I mix grit in with the MPC?

One other slightly related question.  I have so many small used plastic pots of varying sizes and I've often wondered whether a 3"/9cm pot refers to the base or top diameter measurement.  There again, there are deep ones and shallow ones with the same base measurement.  How deep a pot do I need for cuttings?

Sorry for so many questions.  I only want to do what's best for my little ones!




  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    I've done penstemon cuttings both with and without bags over them and they both took equally as well. The danger with them is drying out, hence the misting. As long as they have warmth then a cold frame or GH is fine in my experience. As for the potting mix I always add some grit to any cuttings mix. Pure compost is liable to retain too much moisture.

    As for the pots, the size is determined by the diameter of the top of the pot. I use the deeper pots for potting anything as the shallow ones dry out too quickly for me.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,902

    I have done lots of penstemon cuttings, never used a bag.

    I wonder now if its a bit late to leave them in your greenhouse, if they were already rooted it would be ok, can you put them on a unheated windowsill indoors, out of the sun.

    You could try some in a little glass of water, I did my michaelmas daisys like that and they all root.

    When you do take them, just pinch out the growing tips on the cuttings then you wont get a tree.

    Keep them only just damp through the winter or they will rot.

    You will soon get the hang of taking cuttings and find whats best for your area, its really satisfying to say that you have grown that plant rather than just going out to buy it when someone else has grown it.

    I am totally hooked on self propagation and after you sed your successes, so will you be. Good luck.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • xx Posts: 100
    I agree with Lyn. Have a go. Sometimes it fails but mostly it works and its so satisfying. Let us know how you go on. Good luck.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,902

    Also, if you do twice as many as you need you will definitely get some grow!

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    So \i need to give my penstmon cuttings a bit of warmth now - they are looking very sorry for themselves so will go and rescue them. Spare room here they come (just hope we don't have visitors!

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,902

    Thats what I say matty!

    If they are rooted they can go in your greenhouse, its just to get them started. Maybe do them at the start of september next year and they will be ok outside in the greenhouse then.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158

    I wouldn't mind sharing a room with cuttings Mattyimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Depends who the visitor is - not all of them appreciate my gardening!!!!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158

    Poor souls, they need helpimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Thank you for all the advice everyone.  I will keep them indoors for the time being.  Roughly how long will they take to root, and how will I be able to tell?

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