Frankly, it’s a grave disappointment to me that the local church bells didn’t peal out in celebration. In a break with tradition, I have had some actual pukka success with getting some cuttings to root. 

Pukka roots. Dahlias a gogo.

These are some dahlia cuttings taken on 1st April, so less than 3 weeks ago. As you can see in the photo, they have some impressive roots. While my past dabblings with cuttings have not been a total disaster, I have had very limited success. These are the most emphatic set of roots I’ve had to date.

Good roots.

Upon releasing from the pot they did not disappoint. Four nicely rooted cuttings. There are only three in the picture – in my rooting excitement I forgot to take a photo, I’d already potted one up when I remembered to capture the scene for posterity.

They all fitted happily into 7cm pots. The smallest pot for the job is always the right one.

Plenty of room.
Healthy looking

One of the other pots of dahlia cuttings also had signs of roots so I whipped them out too, giving a total of 7 rooted cuttings to add to the tally of plants propagated in 2017.

As I was seemingly on a roll, I checked a few other pots for roots. The loosestrife I took basal cuttings of a few weeks ago had roots showing through, as did the helenium which were casualties of divisions I took – all shoot but no root . To top it all I also spotted a root sticking out of the Salvia hot lips pot. These had basically died a month or two back so it is a death bed recovery to get to this stage.

Helenium – rooted almost to the point of being pot-bound
Salvia hot lips – looking lively 
Long sought roots

Of the four stems, 3 had rooted, and the 4th also had signs of green growth on the stem, but no roots yet. I’ve popped that in some fresh cuttings mix to see if it will root like a tip cutting. We shall see. One thing I did notice as I was mucking about potting these up, they smell absolutely fantastic. Very fruity.

Can’t get enough of those roots

Here they are all nice and snug in their new pots.

Wasn’t there a character in MASH called Hot lips?

The loosestrife were not to be outdone, with an impressive root system in evidence.

And there’s more.

I’ve potted these up as proto-clumps, three stems to a pot. I’m hoping this will help them bulk up a bit to a useful size. The parent plant is a good foot across as a clump so these babies have some catching up to do.

Trouble and loose-strife

All these potted up cuttings have been given a max strength feed, using triple quantity of tomato feed, and are now occupying increasingly hard to find shelf space in the greenhouse.

Very little room at the inn.

I am chuffed to bits with this. They have to grow on now of course, but the hard bit is done, in theory. The secret sauce this year is the heated bench. The bottom heat couple with the nice humid atmosphere under the cover seems to be very conducive to successful rooting. That said, the Salvia did not root in the heated bench, they have been lurking on normal staging in the greenhouse. Loving the heated bench though.

Have you got any cuttings successes to share in the comments?

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