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How to Take Hardwood Cuttings

Create new trees, plants and shrubs in your garden by taking hardwood cuttings from existing specimens in the autumn.

These take several months (and sometimes up to a year) to root, but should be ready to pot up and plant out by the following autumn.

Many plants can be propagated in this way, such as cornus (dogwood), deutzia, weigela, hydrangea, buddleia (butterfly bush, roses, currants and most willows.

Step 1

Fill large flowerpots or Root Trainers with a quality, gritty compost, such as Westland John Innes No 1 Young Plants Compost.

Step 2

Firm down the compost and then water to remove any air pockets and to ensure good contact with the cuttings. Top up with more compost if necessary.

Step 3

Choose long ripened, woody stems that have had a year to mature from your chosen plant or tree.

Cut into sections by cutting straight across, just beneath a bud, using sharp secateurs.

Step 4

Then cut off the top of the stem by cutting just above a bud with a cut that slopes down, but away from the buds. This is the top of the cutting.

Continue to cut the stem into sections in this way. Each piece should be about as thick as a pencil.

Step 5

Push each cutting deep into the compost with the sloping end upwards and place in a cool, sheltered place for them to root.

The cuttings need to be kept moist, but need little other attention.

When they have rooted, they can be re-potted into larger pots of John Innes No2 Potting-On Compost, or planted out into the garden.

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