Citronella Cuttings: [Concept, Period, Rooting and Planting]

What does it mean to plant by cuttings?

Planting by cuttings consists of planting a fragment of a mother plant -it can be the stem, the leaf, the rhizome or the root-, so that a new one emerges.

The cuttings can be: tender, juvenile, semi-mature, woody, bud, foliar and root.

Planting by cuttings is a very useful process for those plants that do not produce seeds or that produce a limited number of them.Sowing by cuttings is used to multiply a good number of plants from a single specimen so that they are born: homogeneous and of good commercial quality.

This technique of planting by cuttings is the preferred cloning method for gardeners because it is simple, easy to perform and for the most part also successful.In the case of citronella (Cympobogon nardus), the best way to reproduce is planting stem cuttings.

What is the best time to plant citronella cuttings?

The best time to plant citronella cuttings is in the spring- summer so they can grow to full size before winter.Modern reproduction techniques make it possible to plant citronella cuttings at any time of the year.

However, citronella is a herbaceous plant that grows as a perennial in warm and temperate areas.Specialists consider that the time of year in which citronella cuttings are practiced is an important aspect for the success of reproduction.

How to get citronella cuttings to root properly?

Citronella cuttings can root successfully with the use of auxin – type growth regulators that accelerate growth and increase root quality.

Perlite treatment can also be used to support citronella root exit, although potting soil can also be used.

It is important that once the citronella cutting is obtained, it is placed inside the rooting medium so that it does not dehydrate and the pot is placed in a warm place with indirect or filtered sunlight.

In order for the cuttings to root correctly, the crop must also be placed in a greenhouse-type environment, to protect it from frost and wind.

How should we take the citronella cuttings to plant them?

Citronella cuttings should be obtained by taking a stem from the base of the mother plant that is healthy and robust.

It is recommended to use the cuttings from the middle sections of the stems because their tips are very soft and dry easily, while the lower parts of the stems are woody and do not form roots easily.

Stem fragments should be 10 to 15 cm long with at least two leaf nodes, removing all but the top two.

Experts recommend the use of gloves and care when handling citronella cuttings since its oils can cause skin irritation or increase heart rate.

During sowing it is necessary to bury at least one of the nodes within the substrate, soil or perlite and that the other node remains above the rooting medium.It is recommended to keep the substrate evenly moist and spray the leaves with water daily.

Garden tools for taking citronella cuttings must be sharp, clean and disinfected.

How long should we leave citronella cuttings in water?

Once the citronella cuttings have been selected and cut, some growers recommend placing them in a container of water and waiting for the roots to emerge.

How long citronella cuttings should stay in the water will depend solely on how quickly they root.

Although the method of propagation by means of an aquifer environment is easy to carry out and very widespread, in the case of citronella, leaves first sprout from the cutting as a sign that the roots are going to come out.

Is it convenient to use fertilizer or compost?

For the cultivation of citronella through cuttings, it is convenient and recommended to use a substrate rich in organic matter and well drained.

For this, and before planting the citronella, it is recommended to enrich the soil or substrate with composted manure to improve the fertility and capacity of the soil to retain water.

During the growing season of the plant it is necessary to fertilize with liquid nitrogen, every two weeks.

How long does it usually take for a citronella cutting to come out?

The time it takes for a citronella cutting to come out will depend on the emergence of its roots, which generally form in two to three weeks.

Citronella cuttings can be potted until they are large enough to plant in the ground or in their final container.

Bibliography and references

  • Bent Ana. (2019). Great Book of Indoor Gardening. First edition. Servilibro Editions, SA Madrid-Spain. PP 43-47.
  • Manual of propagation of higher plants. Metropolitan Autonomous University. First Digital Edition 2017, Coyoacán. Mexico PDF.

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