Previously I have showed you how to prepare a container with cutting compost for rooting cuttings in. Here I am now taking Greenwood cuttings from a Buddleja.
Greenwood cuttings are literally the green shoots from plants which haven’t yet hardened to the same degree as Semiripe and Hardwood cuttings, though are more firm than softwood cuttings.
I have a Buddleja davidii ‘Pink Delight’ which is a beautiful plant but only really manageable for a maximum of five years, beyond this time the plants become too leggy and woody yo be attractive. I want to propagate it to replace it in the autumn after it flowers this summer. Also, it has become unstable in the ground with all the winter winds in December, so replacing it with a young healthy and stable plant rather than use unsightly staking to rectify the root rock, is a much better idea.
when taking cuttings you will need:-
Siutable cutting material, fortunately the way Buddlejas are pruned hard in the winter to flower from the new shoots in the summer is perfect for preparing cutting material from these new shoots.
Plastic or Polythene bags, for keeping your cuttings in during collection or storing in the refrigerator.
Labels and a waterproof label writing pen, I favour a Sharpie!
A large clean and clear work surface with a wipe clean top would be ideal, Im using a tomato tray above as it has a large lip to keep compost from spilling over .
Secateurs, My favourites are Felco no2 of course!
A cutting Knife, the sharper the better, cutting knives are freely available the one above was a cheap one from my local B&Q, though it has a stainless steel blade it comes fully sharp but looses the edge quickly and doesn’t sharpen easily again, whereas a Tina Knife has a soft steel blade and is also easily blunted, it is much easier to resharpen to razor precision. (Buy a Tina, you won’t regret it)
A heated mat propagator, My heat mats are brilliant for providing that essential ingredient to propagation , basal heat. a gentle warmth to rouse those dormant cells into producing roots all over the place.
1. Remove a suitable stem with plenty of young shots on it from the top of the plant , or where the growth is most typical, try and avoid any flowering shoots as these don’t root so easily. Cut the stem out with your secateurs and place in your plastic bag.
2. When you’ve collected all your cutting material, if you do not intend to use the material straight away, place in a refrigerator in the salad crisper until needed. Though don’t leave longer than a week.
3.Otherwise, using your cutting knife, remove a shoot from the main stem. Cut at the base of the shoot just below a leaf petiole, this section is called a node and contain a bud which has the potential t produce shoots and also to produce roots.
4.Trim of the lower leaf petioles neatly as possible so that there is no excess tissue to rot away and inhibit rooting. By removing the leaves , you also reduce transpiration, the plants method of loosing moisture through its leaves and you give the cutting a better chance to reserve water and energy to root instead.
5.I like to remove the tip of the cutting also, so that the side shoots can develop and produce a bushier more aesthetically pleasing plant later on.
6. Repeat this process with as many shots as you need/like until you have the desired amount.
7.Fetch your pre prepared pot of cutting compost and insert around the side of the pot, into the compost so that the stems are pushed in down to the top most leaves, this gives the most chance to the nodes to root from more areas on the cutting.
8.Write out a label as shown above with the name of the plant, how many cuttings have been taken , the date and who has taken the cuttings. Insert the label into the back of the pot, between the compost and the side of the pot and push it down as far as it will go, so that it cannot get accidentally flicked out.
9. Water well until you can see the water dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, this ensures that all the compost int he pot is wet right through.
10.Place the pot onto the heated mat , at a temperature from 18-25 degrees centigrade is best and quickly helps the cuttings to root.
Your cuttings will root out within a few weeks and will need potting up separately after that also.