Tak­ing a cut­ting now may save a trea­sured plant

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

WIN­TER is a hard time and there are no cer­tain­ties that every plant will see it through to the other side. If you have a tree, shrub or climber you are es­pe­cially fond of, it is worth tak­ing cut­tings of it now in case it suc­cumbs over the next few months.

Hard­wood cut­tings are taken from this year’s growth that has had time to ma­ture and har­den. This method of prop­a­ga­tion is slow (cut­tings may take up to a year to de­velop sturdy root sys­tems) but is one of the most re­li­able.

You can take hard­wood cut­tings any time from now un­til late win­ter, though the best times are just af­ter leaf fall or shortly be­fore the buds burst in spring.

Don’t mess with the cut­tings once they are start­ing to put on growth. Leave them un­til next au­tumn to avoid dis­turb­ing the roots and dis­rupt­ing their progress.

When you make your cut­tings, cut the top end on a slant so water droplets will run off and not ac­cu­mu­late.

For hard­wood cut­tings take pen­cil-thick pieces of this year’s healthy growth

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