Advice For Making and Planting Cuttings

Plant stems or shoots work as a reproductive species that spruce up your garden. Don't throw them away after pruning; learn all about planting cuttings here!
Advice For Making and Planting Cuttings

Last update: 07 September, 2021

Have you ever heard people talk about planting cuttings? By doing this, you can give pieces of branch, shoots, or pruned stems a chance to reproduce. It’s beneficial because the cultivation process doesn’t start from seeds.

Similarly, you’ll then have a mother plant that won’t allow genetic variations. However, the one disadvantage of this is that if you don’t know how to cut the segments or you don’t ensure that they’re free from insects, the sowing process won’t be successful.

Remember, several infestations can attack your garden; the most common of which can be found here. That said, let’s take a closer look at how to make and plant stem cuttings!

How to make cuttings

Cuttings come from trees, flowers, herbs, and even shrubs. The key is to ensure that the plant supports this reproduction method because not all of them do. Also, you have to do the basic cut correctly; do it carefully to ensure you don’t damage the cutting.

This process includes cleaning the plant and removing inferior leaves, flower buds, and bracts. This is so that they don’t consume the nutrients that are essential for the roots to grow.

Prepare a container with a sandy layer and then plant the cuttings in it, leaving space between them. To improve how they take root, infuse them with hormones before potting them.

When it comes to watering them, do so frequently by spraying them with water and as they begin to grow, cover them with a plastic bag. Once they take root, you can move them to wherever you want.

You may also be interested in: The Many Uses for Cinnamon in Gardening

Advice for planting cuttings

Planting cuttings doesn’t just mean cutting a piece off of a tree, burying it, and watering it. Use the advice we offer below to help your cuttings take root and grow healthily.

cultivating plants gardening
You need to follow certain basic care when moving the cuttings to ensure they form properly.

1. Cut it at the right moment

The best seasons are autumn and winter. Trees don’t suffer damage by not having flowers. When it comes to the cutting technique, make sure that you cut it horizontally from the base of the section, between 7 and 15 inches.

2. Choose the best pieces

It’s better to choose mature branches that are older than 1 year and younger than 4. This way you’ll get the best results.

3. Give it the correct soil when planting cuttings

The kind of mix you use depends on the species of the plant. In fact, you can find compost for specific cultivations such as succulents, rose bushes, and shrubs in shops. Among the most commonly used is a mix of water and fertilizer or a bed of sand or soil with moist organic material.

4. Make sure that it gets enough sunlight

The sunlight your cutting gets doesn’t have to be direct; partial sunlight is ideal in the first stage. Some people support this part with retractable whiteish blinds. When the cuttings sprout roots, you can increase the light intensity.

5. Keep an eye on the level of moisture

You need to frequently water the cuttings, but at the start, you may notice they wilt. Don’t completely saturate the pots or trays. Putting the cuttings on stones helps to prevent capillary action. Also, you’re able to better maintain the optimum level of moisture for the soil.

6. Don’t move them without roots

Don’t change the place where your cuttings are without making sure they’ve sprouted roots. You can test this with a gentle tug to see if they resist. With this resistance test, you can check whether it’s time to plant the cuttings in another pot or specific area of your garden.

7. Use good quality tools

A common mistake is using tools without disinfecting them or damaged tools. This way you might transmit diseases to the new plants and those that are around them. Clean your tools and try to keep them sharp so that you can work comfortably.

Which plants can you make cuttings of?

Growing plants from stems and sprouts isn’t a good idea for every species as some plants will only reproduce through seeds. Some of the plants that thrive from planting cuttings are the following:


Roses have to be sown directly into their final location. For rose cuttings, the cut must be about 12 inches and go directly into the earth, without first going into a container of water.


You should plant lavender in colder environments, with sections that measure between 2 and 3 inches. The cuts should be sharp.

Planting cuttings: Californian poppies

For cuttings, you’ll need to cut sections of about 2 inches.


Contrary to what you may think, to make cuttings of geraniums you need to cut them when they’re withered, preferably the stem.

The cut will need to be about 5  to 8 inches. These plants will bring beautiful flowers and leaves that many people use in cleaning products.

pink geranium up close
Geraniums work well when growing them from cuttings. You can get some really beautiful flowers.

Begonia rex

With just one leaf, you’ll get an incredible result. Just sow the cutting at about an inch in damp and loosely packed soil. People have these plants both inside and outside.

Planting cuttings: Willow

When to comes to these trees, you should use branches that aren’t too young or thick for the cuttings. When they grow roots you can move them to a pot or a garden.

In their initial stages, you can use willows to practice how you would care for bonsai trees.

Water as an alternative for planting cuttings

Although you have to control the humidity when planting cuttings, an alternative method is using water. We recommend that you put hormone powder or gel at the lower end of the cuttings to help with the rooting process.

Put the cutting in a bottle of water for two weeks to allow new roots to form. Then, move it to the soil when they develop. For compost, you can use perlite or vermiculite. You should water it every 3 days.

Planting cuttings requires precision

We can think of cuttings as plant cloning, which is why precision in each step of the cultivation process is essential. In fact, the collection El Cuaderno (The Workbook) details how each plant’s reproduction generates new plants that are identical to the original.

You may have once taken a stem and planted it in a pot, hoping that it would bloom. If that didn’t happen, you may have done something wrong.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or not, with patience and a good guide, you’ll stand out both in planting and in caring for your cuttings!

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