Propagating Pinks from cuttings – step by step

Given this ridiculously early season we’re having, it is already time in my south of England garden to take cuttings of pinks; in fact, I’ve had my eye on them for that purpose for at least a couple of weeks!

First, I gather my materials:

compost-and-pot

A pot, sharp secateurs or a knife for trimming, and a compost mix of two parts multi-purpose compost and one part perlite.

Then I select the plant I’m intending to use, “Widecombe Fair” in this case:

pinks-before-cuttings

Lots of decent material here. I’m looking for what are known as “pipings” – short, non-flowering side shoots with strong and healthy-looking foliage located at or near the base of the plant.

The best time to take any cuttings is early morning when the tissues are still turgid from overnight. I select 7 shoots, carefully removing them from the plant by holding them at the base and pulling them down and away from the stem. This results in a little piece of the main stem coming with them, like so:

cuttings

The next job is to clean them up. I like to trim down the piece of residual main stem (“heel”) then take off the lower leaves and anything that looks like it might rot:

cleaned-cutting

You can pinch out the tip of each one at this stage too, although I often forget to do it! Then it’s just a case of making a small hole down the side of the pot and putting the cutting in:

2-inserted-cuttings

 

You can use rooting hormone if you wish, but I don’t find it necessary for most subjects.

The finished pot:

finished-cuttings

Pop a label in, water the cuttings in well (I use a watering can with a fine rose) and place it in a propagator or, in my case, in a clear plastic bag in the coldframe. In a few weeks time they should have rooted and I’ll have yet more plants that I really don’t have space for, lol!

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Posted on May 17, 2014, in Techniques and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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