Plants for free


Somewhat surprisingly, given the heat of late summer, February can be a good month for taking cuttings and propagating your own plants. Why? Because, by late summer, soft new spring growth has hardened and the cutting is less likely to lose water from the leaves.

Semi-succulent plants like geraniums (Pelargoniums) or New Guinea impatiens are easiest for beginners, but many common shrubs such as abelia, gardenia, buxus, camellias, azaleas, fuchsias and grevilleas have a relatively high success rate.

The trick when growing plants from cuttings lies in keeping the cut pieces alive while they develop their own new roots. Professional nurserymen do this by growing cuttings in glasshouses where they’re regularly misted with fine sprays of water. But there are lots of techniques that can help a home gardener to achieve success. Try these:


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