Bonsai Tree · Cuttings · Gardening · Pots

Plant Cuttings

Plant cuttings as a way to grow plants is a new concept to me. I started three months ago and currently have four that survived. I started with twice that many cuttings but for a first attempt I was happy with that outcome.

There are a four main different plant cuttings:

Softwood cuttings are from new growth and are taken in the spring or summer.

Greenwood cuttings are from young plants which are maturing. They are from midsummer cuttings.

Semi-ripe cuttings are mature. The are cut in midsummer to autumn.

Hardwood cuttings are from woody stemmed plants. These are taken in the late autumn or winter.

One of the main advantages of taking plant cuttings is increasing the amount of plants that you can have in your garden. It is a cost effective method to increase the plant  s in your garden. Additionally once you have tried it a few times, it becomes easier and you will know which plants are more successful than others.


To begin the process, you need to pick healthy plants which are well hydrated. A drier plant will struggle once it has been potted as it will not have an established root system. Once the plant has been identified, the cutting needs to be made with a sharp object, a knife or scissors. I believe most people would use a knife, but I prefer a small sharp scissors, I think there is more control for the cutting. The cutting should be three to six inches long.


In order to pot the new cuttings, a free draining loose soil potting mix is needed. This will allow the root system to establish and also ensure that the the cuttings doesn’t get too wet. I would recommend that you only water the soil and cutting when the soil is just dry again to ensure that the root system can form. I plant the cuttings 1 to 1.5 inches into the soil.

Additional steps

In order to increase success you can use a rooting hormone. I have never tried this and have still had roots cutting success so again a personal preference. To create a greenhouse effect, a plastic bag can be placed over the pot and plant and removed daily. I have tried this and the cutting for overheated and died. I haven’t tried it a second time.

Depending on the cutting type it can between two to six weeks for the roots to form. From the ones that I took, it took approximately one month for the roots to form.

Let me know what plants you have tried to propagate using the cutting method.


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