Rooting cuttings

My good friend, Ilene, sent me a bunch of cuttings from her Nanking cherries, gooseberries, and red currants.  I’ve been wanting to plant some since we moved up here but I hadn’t yet been able to bring myself to pony up the big $$ the stores want for them.

Now, if you read all the fancy pants university papers on how to root cuttings, you’ll get a whole bunch of “do this with this type at this time of year on so-n-so aged wood — and make sure you hold your tongue just right and don’t you dare forget to do it during a full moon wearing a tutu made of lucky rabbit feet” sort of thing.  Well, I’m here to tell ya, it’s usually okay if you don’t.  Maybe a few things are really particular but I’ve generally had good luck just taking cuttings from wherever and whenever it’s convenient.  Not all of them make it but, usually, enough of each do live and do fine.

Get yourself a pot (or a cup with holes poked in the bottom) and fill it with potting soil.  Jam a pencil in there, maybe 2/3 or 3/4 of the way down and give it a little wiggle to enlarge the hole a bit.

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Make sure you have some rooting hormone handy.  Some folks make their own but, really, for $4/jar once per year, I’m going the lazy way out.

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Set up a space with all your stuff.  I suggest the top of the deep freeze during dinner prep so everyone can whine that you’re in the way.  It makes it that much more fun.

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Dip the cut end into water to moisten so the rooting hormone will stick.  (By the way, you’re supposed to take off any leaves & buds along the part that will be in dirt.  I rarely remember to do so and, honestly, I don’t like the idea of fresh wounds staying down in the moist soil.  But now ya know so you can do it the “right” way.)

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Jam that cutting down into the rooting hormone and swish it around.  You’ll notice that the powder doesn’t go up as far as you need it.

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So that’s when I hold the cutting over a spare cup and shake the rooting hormone onto the cutting to coat it further up.  Then give it a little tap to knock off the excess.  You only need a little dusting.

 

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Drop it in your hole and give it a little push to make sure it’s in there.  Take a finger and smoosh the dirt in around the sides, down towards the bottom, then top with a little more soil.

 

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I then place each cup/cutting into a bread bag and tie the top.  Each cutting now has its own little “greenhouse”.  (Do not set these in the sun or you’ll cook them!  Until they’re established, mine will stay right here in the house where it’s a nice, even temperature and I can keep an eye on them.)  It’ll take a few weeks for them to root well.  I’ll keep ya updated!

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Thanks again, Ilene!!

5 Responses to “Rooting cuttings”

  1. George March 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Once you have the gooseberries going, it’s easy to simply bury some stems and let them root.

    • Diane March 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks, George! I’d read that they’re like blackberries in that way. So, if I don’t kill all of these cuttings, I’ll have no trouble multiplying them.

  2. Ilene March 30, 2014 at 4:41 am #

    You GO, girl!! I used to have a BIL whose family was in the greenhouse nursery business. He once told me that the reason why there are so many detailed instructions on plants and seeds is because that way if they don’t germinate or take root, the seller can always point to one of the instructions and say, “Well, you probably didn’t do THIS!” LOL!

    I don’t even use the rooting hormone, most of the time, and they root just fine. I do mine outside, in the shade, under glass jars through the winter and have had good luck as long as I put things where dogs and other critters don’t knock the jars over. Last year, I tried to root cuttings of a big, beautiful Bridal Wreath bush. I had the little end pieces that had lots of tiny branches and so I just semi-buried those in wood chips. The cuttings died and the ones under the wood chips are now a whole year old and are greening up and starting to bloom! Not very big, but alive!

    I’ve made my own rooting compound with willow but I haven’t had much luck with it. I’ve got the powdered stuff like you do and I found out they make a gel rooting compound, which I think would be better. When I run out of the powder, I’ll get some of that.

    You’re welcome, and good luck! Hugs

  3. Tina March 30, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    Good Advice. Thanks. I will have to try this on grapes.

  4. Jo March 30, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Those have got to be the easiest instructions for growing from a cutting. I will definitely be trying it out soon!

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