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 same as for a leaf bud cutting.

Select a piece of stem from a semi-hardwood stem in mid to late summer.

Make the first cut (1)just above a bud in a leaf axil and the other 25mm-40mm (1"-1½") below the bud.

The bud/s located where the leaf stalk joins the stem (leaf node) will give rise to a new shoot.

If treating as a double cutting then slice the cutting up the length of the stem (2) at this stage.

1) Cutting

2) Sliced Cutting

3)Two Nodal cuttings

Similary if you remove the tip of a stem (4) rather than making the cutting in the middle of the stem you can cut the growing tip off the cutting (5) and treat it as a Tip cutting and potentially get three cuttings (6) from the one stem cutting.

This is a useful technique to use when the desired parent plant does not produce many stems suitable for taking cuttings from.

4) Tip Cutting

5) Remove Tip

6) Slice stem

7) Dip cutting

8) Insert three cuttings

Dip the lower end of the cuttings in hormone rooting powder (7) and insert into a pot filled with gritty compost (8).

Each bud should be in total contact with the compost and approximately 12mm (½") below the surface.

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

A soil temperature of around 16°C (60°F) and a minimum air temperature of 4°C (40°F) is ideal.

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

Do not let the compost dry out, regular spraying (misting) with either fresh water or a fungicide mixture will prevent dehydration.

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

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