Now is the best time for hardwood cuttings

A gentle reminder to myself & others to propagate large quantities of hardwood cuttings – they’re so simple & quick, and the rewards are bountiful.

Close up of pink round snowberry, with sinewy branches & shiny leaves
Symphoricarpos, ripe for taking hardwood cuttings, a great bee & wildlife plant as well as solid hedge that does well in the shade

The best time for hardwood cuttings is from mid-autumn until late winter. Kind of round about now.

There are detailed instructions at RHS Cuttings: hardwood and a video of @CarolKlein on Gardeners’ World.com.

What I love about hardwood cuttings is that they’re so easy — yes, you can dig a trench, line with grit and backfill with compost enriched soil. Or, if you’re not fussed about survival rates, you can put a stick in the ground.

The only provisos for this slapdash approach are:

  1. Make sure the ground is clear of grass
  2. Keep it mulched, to retain moisture and keep down competition

I didn’t follow my own advice and this is what happened:

Red twigs in grass

Red Dogwood cuttings somewhat swamped by grass

Also, I neglected to water the cuttings throughout the drought this summer, and there were about 80% casualties. But considering it took me 10 minutes to “plant” the cuttings, it was a good return.

As much for the benefit of my forgetful mind as for you, the dear reader, here’s a list of plants for this seaon’s hardwood cuttings:

And I’ll take more care this year, I promise 🙂

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