Ready to Root

It is hard to believe summer is almost over! If there are plants in your garden you want for next year, start making cuttings now. Through a recent workshop, I discovered a great, easy way to root cuttings from almost any plant.

Nancy’s Easy Rooting Needs:
1 4-inch deep or larger plastic saucer
1 3-foot clay pot (unfinished)
1 cork
Potting soil
Rooting hormone
Green stem cuttings with at least four leaf nodes each
1 large plastic bag (I used a two-and-a-half gallon Ziploc
on one and a cleaner’s suit bag on another.)

1. Ready the cutting by clipping the leaves off the bottom two nodes. (Tearing them off may damage the nodes where the new roots will grow!)

2. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone (in a small cup) and put it into a hole in the damp soil in the plastic saucer. Firm up the soil around the cutting.

3. Push the clay pot with the cork in the bottom down into the center of the saucer moving potting soil aside if needed. This will be your “ace in the hole.”

4. Fill the clay pot one-half to three-fourths with water.

5. Cover the whole thing with plastic and zip the bag or tie it up. You have just made yourself a mini greenhouse. I have had the moisture hold in the plastic bag over 40 days. It allows the little cuttings to have consistent moisture, which they need. I put mine in a shady corner of the porch and went on vacation. When I came home they were still doing their thing with new green growth. They are ready to go into their own pot when you tug gently on them and there is resistance (from the new roots). If they do not resist, leave them a while longer. Some plants take longer to root than others.

Share your grandmother’s roses or your favorite plants with friends and family! It is not as hard as you might think, and it is lots of fun!

— Written by Nancy Fenton, Master Gardener