Propagating Semi-hardwood Cuttings
In some areas Semi-Hardwood Cuttings may be referred to as Semi-ripe cuttings.
This technique is often used to propagate many popular shrubs and climbers.
Cuttings are taken from the current season's growth that has just begun to harden, usually between July and September.
Semi-Hardwood Cuttings are firmer than softwood cuttings, and less mature than hardwood cuttings, this is often indicated by a slight change in the colour of the stem i.e. riper wood is generally darker.
In most cases no heat is required to root the cuttings but it is best to offer protection e.g. a cloche or cold frame.
Hygiene is paramount, always use clean sharp cutting tools, and only select healthy material.
Taking the cuttings in the morning will help to reduce wilting.
- Select 75-150mm (3”-6”) long non-flowering side shoots (2) and cut them off the main stems (1) make the cut just below a node.
- Remove the soft tip, strip the leaves from the lower half of the stem (3) and dip the base in a hormone rooting powder / gel.
- Insert the cutting/s, up to the lowest leaf, around the edge of pots/ trays (4) containing a proprietary cuttings compost, and water in well.
- With large-leaved cuttings, cut the leaf in half to reduce water loss (transpiration).(5)
- Place the container in a propagator or a clear polythene bag, placing the latter in a cool greenhouse / coldframe.
- Keep cuttings shaded from bright sunlight, and check periodically to ensure they don’t dry out, water as necessary.
Semi-hardwood cuttings take longer to root than soft cuttings, however, depending upon conditions the cuttings should be rooted in two to three weeks.
Once rooted pot on into suitable sized pots.