Learn how to make cuttings and you will never be short of plants

Plants reproduce by seeds in most cases. But there are alternative methods that we can use to multiply many plants in our garden or orchard. For example, cuttings and grafts  .

In this article we are going to explain how to get new plants with cuttings. Do you want to save time in cultivation? Keep reading.

What is a cutting and why make it?

A cutting is a part of a plant that is used to develop a new plant identical to its mother .

It is a good way to get new plants for the garden or vegetable garden. But why do it like this and not with seeds?

  • Because not all plants can multiply by seeds.
  • Because this way you can clone a plant that you want to preserve its characteristics .
  • Because it is fast and inexpensive.

The different types of cuttings

Not all plants can be cut in the same way. Some sprout better from one part than another.

What parts of a plant can be used? These are the main types of cutting:

  • Herbaceous or tender stem cutting

A tender, young stem is taken in spring or summer, which has not yet hardened. The Rooting is fast and is very good for ornamental plants like geraniums and also in semiarbustivas (like margarita or lavender), conifers and other perennials.

  • Semi-woody cutting

Young stems, slightly woody below but still tender above.

They are the most common cuttings for conifers, climbing plants and perennial and deciduous shrubs, such as the most typical woody aromatic ones (laurel, rosemary, sage, lavender, lavender, thyme …).

Depending on the species, you can cut between spring and early fall.


make cutting


  • Woody cutting

They are the mature branches, from previous years, which must be prepared in advance and patience, as they take months to root. The best time is in late winter, when you must cut, strip, and almost completely bury the branches of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees.

This type of cutting is very common in ornamental plants such as the rose bush, as well as in fruit trees such as the apple tree, the pear tree, the vine, the olive tree or the fig tree.

  • Leaf cutting

These are complete leaves, portions of leaves and leaves with petioles (the tail).

This type of cutting works well with ornamental plants such as begoña, African violet, primrose, and succulents.

leaf cutting

  • Root cutting

Take advantage of the dormant time of the plant, the winter , to extract the root cutting. It consists of a piece of root, preferably fleshy, of a young and healthy plant.

Olive, apple and fig trees are some of the trees that support this type of cutting.


How to plant cuttings?

Most of the most common plants can be cut from our pots, gardens and orchards. It is common to make rose bush cuttings , for example, as well as geranium or hydrangea cuttings.

But also fruit trees, such as the olive tree, the apple tree or the pear tree.

Except in the case of root cuttings, the best time is usually in spring or autumn , when the mild climate, humidity and the biology of the plant favor rooting and grip.

cutting step by step

Each plant species has its requirements, so it is not possible to explain here, in detail, each possibility. But, in general terms, the procedure is as follows:

1. Use good pruning shears or a sharp razor to cut the part of the plant that you are cutting. Make sure the utensil is clean , as it is very easy to transmit diseases (fungi, for example).

The cut must be clean, without causing damage.

If you are going to take a stem, which is between 5 and 20 cm, with about four or five buds (the thickenings from which the leaves and other stems sprout). Make the bevel cut just below the bottom bud, the part that is buried, and just above the upper bud, the part that will be exposed

When it is a root cutting, cut a piece that is about 5 cm long and 2-3 cm thick at most.

2. Remove the lower leaves from the stem, leaving only two or three on top, if any. This way, the cutting will be able to breathe, but you will avoid drying out by breathing.

If it is a leaf cutting and it is large, you can trim it a little while respecting the midrib.

3. Place the stem in a container of water with a rooting product.

You can also do it directly in damp soil (universal substrate, black peat or rock wool) in a seedbed, flowerpot or container, also impregnated with rooting agent. This may be the best option for leaf cuttings.

On the other hand, the root cuttings do not need more than to be buried vertically in the peat or substrate, leaving a minimal upper portion in the air.

4. The roots will sprout in a few weeks, depending on the type of cutting and when they were planted. During all this time you must make sure that the soil is moist.

5. Once it has roots, you can transplant the cutting into its final place, being very careful not to damage them.

As you can see, it is really easy to make cuttings. Try several at the same time to increase the chances of success and you will get many plants for your garden and garden.


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