How to take cuttings

Taking cuttings of geraniums or other balcony and pot plants in summer is a cost-effective way of increasing your stock of plants for the next year. And also means you have a nice gift when invited to visit your gardening friends.

Here’s how:

1. Using a sharp knife, snip a still soft shoot from the “mother plant”. It should not yet be woody.
2. Shorten to just 2 to 3 pairs of leaves and 8-10 cm in length. Important: The cut should be just below a leaf node. As this is where new roots form best.
3. Remove flowers and buds.
4. Insert several cuttings in a larger pot with a peat-free sowing and potting soil. The leaves should not be touching. You can also use a separate pot for each cutting. Lightly firm the soil around the cutting with your fingers.
5. Place the pot in a shady place at room temperature and water in well. The first roots sprout after just a few weeks.

Even easier: rooting in water

Cuttings from various balcony plants easily take root in water. Busy Lizzies and painted nettles are ideal for this. Here’s how:
1. Cut a 10 to 15 cm long shoot without flowers or buds from the plant from spring to July.
2. Always use a sharp knife. Do not press the stems as this blocks the fluid channels inside. Scissors also often squeeze the stems so that water can no longer reach the upper part of the plant.
3. Now place the cutting in a glass of water.
4. It should be kept in a bright, warm place. A window sill above a radiator is ideal.
5. Always change the water or place a small lump of coal in the water. This keeps it clear for longer.
6. The first roots appear on the cut surface after around 14 days.
7.When at least three new roots have grown, the cutting can be placed in a pot filled with a peat-free sowing and potting soil.
8.Keep the pot slightly moist and put another clear plastic bag on top to simulate greenhouse conditions.

Tip: Tip cuttings can be rooted at any time of the year. They are often taken in autumn to save part of the plant through the winter. This kind of propagation is ideal for anyone who does not have much space in their home and cannot bring large pot plants indoors. Cuttings taken in spring, however, perform much better.

It’s all about the soil

The success of planting and harvesting depends on the quality of the potting soil. It’s best to use a peat-free sowing and potting soil that only contains a small amount of fertiliser when planting seeds and cuttings, as its fine structure offers the roots particularly good growth conditions.