Propagating Basal Cuttings




Some types of plants produce new shoots (basal shoots) at the base of older stems in spring and early summer, e.g. Chrysanthemums.(1)

If necessary scrape the soil away from the base of the plant, then with a sharp knife, razor blade or scalpel, carefully cut away new shoots approx 75-100mm (3"- 4") long. (2, 3 & 4)

Leave shorter shoots to develop for cutting at a later date.

If a cutting becomes detached with roots on, leave the roots intact and the cutting will establish itself quicker.

This is known as an Irishman's cutting. (5)

Fill a tray or pot with sieved compost, do not compact it, just tap it gently on the bench, and soak it thoroughly with water*.

Sprinkle about 6-12 mm (¼"-½") of silver sand over the compost. (6)

*Alternatively water the cuttings after they have all been inserted into the compost.(12)

Trim the cutting to just under a leaf node (leaf joint/scar), and remove the lower leaves to expose approx 25-50mm(1"-2") of stem. (7)

Dip cutting in rooting powder/fluid (optional) then insert the cutting into the compost. (8, 9 & 10)

1) Basal Shoots
2) Potential Cutting
3) Sever Cutting
4) Typical Cutting
5) Irishman's Cutting

6) Sand Covered Compost
7) Prepared Cutting
8) Dip in Rooting Powder
9) Dipped Cutting
10) Insert into tray

11) Tray filled with Cuttings
12) Water in Cuttings
13) Ready for Propagater
14) On Hot bed

An alternative method is to place several cuttings around the edge of a suitable sized pot,cover it with a plastic bag, held in position with a rubber band.

Place the tray / pot in a warm place, preferably with bottom heat. (14)

A soil temperature of around 16°C (60°F) and a minimum air temperature of 10°C (50°F) is ideal.

Give the cuttings plenty of light, but ensure that they are not scorched by direct sunlight.

Depending upon the heat available cuttings may dehydrate resolve this by spraying them with clean water or a fungicide mixture to re-hydrate them.

A sign that they have rooted is, the growing tip will be a fresh green colour.

Pot on into 75 mm (3") pots of potting compost when rooted.

Pump Spray
Rooted cuttings Potted On

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