Do you have a favourite deciduous shrub or vine growing in your garden that you would like to clone? Well, this winter, try your hand at taking some ‘hardwood’ cuttings. It’s easier than you think! Hardwood cuttings is the technical sounding term for taking pieces of leafless stems from plants like hydrangeas, wisteria and grapevines during winter and encouraging them to grow their own roots.


Here’s a step by step guide to growing new plants from hardwood cuttings:

  • Choose leafless stems around 0.75–1 cm thick and cut off 15–18 cm long pieces using sharp, clean secateurs.
  • The top cut should be just above a node (the bud where the new leaves develop) and the bottom cut just below a node. Make a slanted cut at the top so you can remember which way is up.
  • Dip the bottom ends of the cuttings into Yates Clonex Red Rooting Hormone Gel. Yates Clonex Red contains a concentrated plant hormone that helps promote root development as well as helping to seal and protect the cutting.
  • Insert the dipped ends of the cuttings into small pots or trays filled with Yates Specialty Potting Mix Cuttings & Seeds and keep in a cool, sheltered, well-lit position. 
  • To help protect the cuttings and retain moisture, place a plastic bag over the pots, supported by some chopsticks or skewers. This creates an ideal environment to keep cuttings until they form roots in a few months.
  • Once roots are well established and new leaves have started to develop, individual cuttings can be transplanted into slightly larger pots to grow until they are big enough to be planted out into the garden or decorative pot.
  • If you're a plant propagator that prefers using a cutting powder, you can also dip the ends of cuttings into Yates Cutting Powder.

Soft and semi-hardwood cuttings

Keen to grow more of your favourite plants using cuttings? It's an economical way to grow lots of plants and is very rewarding. Different plants are suited to other types of cuttings, taken at particular times of the year. 'Softwood' cuttings use tender new leafy growth and 'semi-hardwood' cuttings are taken from stems that have partly matured.

Here's a quick guide to some popular plants that are suitable to grow from these types of cuttings:

  • For winter flowering shrubs, such as camellias and daphne, take semi-hardwood cuttings in early summer.
  • For spring flowering shrubs, such as azaleas, viburnum, hibiscus, gardenia, and weigela, take semi-hardwood cuttings in late spring and early summer. Buxus cuttings can also be taken at this time.
  • For perennials such as salvias, daisies, penstemons, fuchsias, pelargoniums, and asters, take cuttings in late spring, using the new spring (softwood) stems. Lavender can also be propagated using softwood cuttings, taken after the flower flush. Made from 100% naturally derived ingredients Feeding your plant babies is now child's play insert into small pots or trays of Yates Specialty Potting Mix Cuttings & Seeds. Keep moist in a bright, protected spot until roots form. Once the roots are established, they can be transplanted into slightly larger pots to mature before planting out into their final home.

How to take softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings:

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