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Shrubs for free hardwood cuttings!

Posted:13 February 2010

Now is just about the last opportunity you’ll have to take hardwood cuttings (it is preferable to start in November, but any time before the new spring leaves start to unfurl, is fine).

Today in The Garden House we were taking cuttings of Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’, Salix alba and winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum).   Any of the tougher shrubs work well, including forsythia, buddleia, euonymus, kerria, hydrangea, rosemary, yew, willow, dogwoods, weigela, berberis and pyrancantha.  Soft fruit bushes too, such as gooseberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants – and some roses: Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and certain shrub and patio roses.

So collect long straight stems, about pencil-width is ideal, and about 12-18” (30-45cms) long.  Make a clean straight cut directly below a leaf node and a sloping cut about 8-10” (20-25cms) above it, cutting just above a leaf node.  Snip off any small twiggy side-shoots.

You could dip the cutting into hormone rooting powder, but it’s not strictly necessary.

Plant your cuttings into ordinary garden soil or compost – either directly into a sheltered bed or border about 6” (15cms) apart, or into some fairly deep pots plant deeply, so that only the top 1.5” (2.5cm) or so is left sticking out.  Firm in.

Come late summer, when the cuttings have grown 4-6” (10-15cms) shoots, nip the growing tips out, to encourage bushy growth.  Keep watered and leave undisturbed until this time next year, when you should dig them up and space out, or pot them up.  Give them another 6 months to a year before planting in their final position.

What better way than to grow your own shrubs as gifts, or for plant sales it couldnt be easier this is also a great way to produce plants in bulk if you want to create a new hedge!

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