Instead of buying multiple plants of the same variety, a gardener in the United States instead relies on tip cuttings to grow plants from a single specimen.
Growing plants by tip cuttings work well with different kinds of perennials, geraniums, and many other types of plants. By propagating plants from a part of just a single specimen, Steve Silk, an American gardener can enrich his garden with just minimal cost, yet high efficiency.
Silk shares some tips on propagating tip cuttings:
First, it is important to determine the purpose of tip cutting propagation. Silk takes cuttings in late spring or early summer to increase his stock of plants, in late summer to grow plants over winter, and in early spring to grow new plants for outdoor gardening.
According to Silk, tip cuttings grow best in a soilless potting mixed with moist peat moss containing perlite, vermiculite, or sand for efficient drainage.
Tip cuttings should contain at least three sets of leaves and the stem should be too hard or too soft. If the desired plant is for an outdoor setting, it is best to take tip cuttings when the tissues are quite swollen, which usually occurs in the morning. For indoor plants, tip cuttings can be taken anytime.
After being taken, trim off the bottom pair of leaves using a clean blade, pruners, or a sharp pair of scissors. After trimming, cut the bottom part of the stem half crosswise and dip it in a jar of water with rooting hormone.
In potting, it is important to place the tip cutting into a hole that is only about an inch deep and that the lowermost part should not touch the bottom of the container to prevent rotting.
In propagating plant cuttings, set up a moist and enclosed environment, like in a translucent plastic box or an aquarium with a glass top cover. This will allow the tip cuttings to root efficiently, but always make sure to check it regularly for possible pests and fungal growth.
Typically, plants root as early as seven days to a few weeks, which can be verified by slightly tugging the cutting. Resistance from the plant means that there are developing roots already. Those with roots can be transferred to the garden after two to three days.
Propagating tip cutting is one of the common and affordable methods of reproducing plants. The method can save growers both money and time while further enriching their gardens.