Established plants can be propagated to create young duplicates, but timing is critical if you want to be successful in growing plants from cuttings. Houseplants, bed displays, and garden shrubs can all be propagated, although different varieties should be cut and planted in different locations throughout the year. Speaking to Express.co.uk, plant expert Elin Harryson and gardening expert Calum Maddock revealed the best plants to propagate right now and exactly how to do it.
Why is timing important for plant propagation?
Plants should be propagated at the right time in the growing season for pruning to be successful.
Calum Maddock, gardening expert at Homehow, said: “Timing is critical to propagation because if you wait for the roots to form a root ball, the roots will grow old, ‘pot tight’ and be less likely to branch. Don’t leave it too long to allow the roots to grow.”
Roses, hydrangeas and dahlias are just a few of the plants that are now ready to propagate, but what other varieties can you recreate in your home and garden this season?
Read more: ‘Inexpensive’ plants to add color to the garden this spring
Pelargoniums provide consistent color and fragrance throughout the summer and are easily propagated from cuttings.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Elin Harryson, in-house plant expert at Plata, said: “Although your cuttings can be taken at any time of the year, the best time to propagate pelargoniums is during warm and sunny periods of weather, as success rates can be in fall and winter decline.
“Conifer propagation is ideal for all pelargoniums, just find a soft shoot and cut away from the plant, just below the node where the leaf meets the stem.”
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this variety is one of the most popular and impressive houseplants to care for.
This trailing plant is easily propagated by layering, which involves choosing a healthy knotty root that grows above the ground.
To successfully propagate this plant, place the knot in a new pot of moist soil, or wrap the knot around it with moist peat moss and aluminum foil to retain moisture.
Elin explained, “Once the pothos scion has established its own roots and they are thick enough, separate the new baby plant from the mother plant and transplant it into its own pot to continue growing.”
It is important to note that every part of the pothos plant is poisonous, so it is important to wear gloves and keep away from children and animals when propagating by layering.”
How to propagate plants successfully
There are several propagation methods that can be used to cut, divide and replant offshoots from a mother plant, but what else should you do to make duplicate plants successful?
According to Callum, the best way to grow a healthy propagated plant is to:
- Prepare a container for the cutting to live in while it forms its own roots
- Use larger pots for stem propagation and shallow trays for leaf propagation
- Immediately submerge stem cuttings in a rooting medium to keep the cut edge moist
- Mist the stem cuttings and seal them in an airtight container to grow
- Use less soil mix – typical potting soil will be too rich for tender shoots. Cuttings do best in a soilless mix
- Give your plants plenty of light – a grow light unit is an excellent choice, providing optimal conditions for fresh cuttings
- Keep propagated plants in a humid environment
- Use a coarse grit for hardwood cuttings and multipurpose compost for softwood cuttings
- Always look for the best propagation method for your plant