Martin Fish is tak­ing easy pelargo­nium cut­tings

Take cut­tings now to give them time to root be­fore win­ter

Garden News (UK) - - News -

Early Septem­ber is the tra­di­tional time to take cut­tings from zonal pelargo­ni­ums to pro­duce new plants for next sum­mer. They can be taken at other times of the year, but they root well this month and it means you haven’t spoiled the par­ent plants by cut­ting off too many shoots ear­lier in the sea­son. Cut­tings taken later in the sea­son don’t root as well and are more prone to a fun­gal dis­ease called ‘black leg’, which rots the base of the stem. I aim to have all my cut­tings taken by the end of Septem­ber at the very lat­est, but ideally by the mid­dle of the month if pos­si­ble. This gives the cut­tings time to root be­fore the tem­per­a­tures drop too much and they’ll then over­win­ter without too many prob­lems in just frost-free con­di­tions.

All types of zonal pelargo­ni­ums can be rooted now and I par­tic­u­larly like some of the old fancy-leaved types such as ‘Happy Thought’, with its yel­low and green var­ie­gated fo­liage, ‘Mrs Pol­lock’, which has tri-colour leaves and ‘Frank Headley’, a lovely cream and green var­ie­gated plant that pro­duces masses of pink flow­ers all sum­mer long. I like them for their bright and cheer­ful fo­liage and also be­cause they re­mind me of when I first started as an ap­pren­tice gar­dener nearly 40 years ago!

I take my cut­tings the old-fash­ioned way and root sev­eral around the edge of a pot. Se­lect a healthy stem and trim it to around 7.5cm (3in) just below a leaf joint. Re­move all but the top two or three leaves, de­pend­ing on their size, and pinch off the ’stip­ules’ – the small, fleshy growths at the base of the leaf stalks. I don’t use root­ing pow­der, so once pre­pared in­sert three or four cut­tings around the edge of a clay or plas­tic pot us­ing well- drained com­post. Wa­ter in and root in the green­house out of direct sun­light, keep­ing the fo­liage dry.

P.39 Martin Fish prop­a­gates pelargo­ni­ums

Es­tab­lished pelargo­ni­ums pro­vide ma­te­rial for cu ings at this time of the year

Pre­pared cu ings be­ing in­serted around the edge of a clay pot to root

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.