Propagating Nodal Cuttings
A nodal cutting is basically the same as a leaf-bud cutting.
The differences are: a leaf-bud cutting is associated with varieties of plants that have their leaves staggered along the length of a stem, whereas with nodal cuttings, the leaves are directly oposite each other.
A nodal cutting like a leaf bud cutting, is a stem cutting that has been cut above and below a node/leaf joint.
But! because there are a pair of leaves there can be two buds as opposed to the single bud on the leaf-bud cutting, thus doubling the chances of the cutting rooting.
This attribute can also be of benefit when cutting material is in short supply, as the double node can be sliced vertically up the stem to produce two cuttings.
Propagation is the similar to a leaf bud cutting.
- Make the cut below a bud from a semi-hardwood stem in mid to late summer.(1)
- Cut the growing tip off the cutting (2) and treat it as a Tip cutting.
- The remaining double leafed section can be treated as a single cutting.(3)
- Alternatively: Split the stem (3) to make a pair of cuttings. (4 & 5)
The bud/s located where the leaf stalk joins the stem (leaf node) will give rise to a new shoot.
This is a useful technique to use when the desired parent plant does not produce many stems suitable for taking cuttings from.
5) Trim off excess stem
6) Three Cuttings
7) Dip cuttings in Rooting Powder
8) Insert all three cuttings into compost
- Dip the lower end of the cuttings in hormone rooting powder (7) and insert into a pot filled with gritty compost (8).
- Place the tray / pot in a warm place, preferably with bottom heat.
- Give the cuttings plenty of light, but ensure that they are not scorched by direct sunlight.
Each bud should be in total contact with the compost and approximately 12mm (½") below the surface.
A soil temperature of around 16°C (60°F) and a minimum air temperature of 4°C (40°F) is ideal.
Do not let the compost dry out, regular spraying (misting) with either fresh water or a fungicide mixture will prevent dehydration.