So, the time has come to pot on some rooted hardwood cuttings. I took these cuttings end of November, early December last year.  I have resisted the temptation to take them out of their pots to see if they have rooted. I have been waiting for roots to show. I did already extract some Salvia ‘Hot lips’ cuttings but despite my earlier renewed optimism they are not doing well. All three have succumbed to powdery mildew.

Shuffled off the old mortal coil

I still have some hope, I still have 2 out of 3 soft cuttings that I took from a stem that hadn’t rooted but was throwing out top growth, they might root yet. They still seem game.

Obi Wan, you are our only hope…


However, on a more positive note, I also spotted roots on the blackcurrant cuttings so I potted those on, 6 of 8 stems had decent roots, they seem to be quite happy.

Blackcurrant cordial anyone?

The redcurrants also have roots showing. To de-pot them it’s a simple matter of tipping them out of the pot. The pot contains a mix of sand and compost so it’s pretty loose, it won’t hold together. Out of that mess, the next job is to separate the stems, taking care not to damage the roots. This is a matter of gently teasing apart the roots. No real technique to it, but easy does it.  Here they are all separated out.

7 out of 10 rooted – pretty good.

To pot up, I am just using multi purpose compost, and the smallest pots that the roots will fit into. In this case as the redcurrant cuttings are quite vigorous, I’m using 9cm pots. To pot on, I half fill the pot, make a decent hole with my finger, pop the roots mostly in the hole then top up with the same compost and firm in.

Halfway there.  Just needs topping up.

The newly rooted cuttings benefit from a good high potash feed, I’m using tomato feed at triple dose for their first feed.  Here they are, all potted up.

Redcurrant glut in the future…

I also see roots in one of the roses, ‘danse de feu’. This is a climber and I have one in my garden. It flowers profusely, electric red, is tolerant of shade and does a good job of covering a fence.

Rose ‘danse de feu’. Photo David Austin Roses.

I have plans for these cuttings, I want to put several along a fence I planted clematis along a while back. They should look good together. Anyhow, here is the pot, lots of good top growth, and I see some roots.

Fingers crossed they have roots.

Same process, crack open the pot, separate, pot up and feed. They had a pretty good set of roots on them.

Should make a good plant.  Plenty of roots.

Here they are all happy in their new homes. 2 of 4 cuttings rooted, not a bad return, anything over 50% success rate is good going for hardwood cuttings. For the roses I’ve used good deep pots, I think they had clematis in originally.


Next up, weigela. These are from a rangy shrub in my garden, the variety is lost to history, I’ve had it for a decade or so.  If any of these cuttings are good I might replace the parent plant with one, with a view to pruning it properly this time around.  Most of the stems have good top growth, which is encouraging, but in fact when I tipped them out, just two stems actually had roots – what a tease!

Just showing a bit of leg.

Still, two weigela is better than none.

I think the stems in this pot are a mixed bag.

Game of two halves. Different pots next time.

 The perovskia, hydrangea annabel and the eleagnus quicksilver seem like they are doing well, the others not so much. I can’t really remove the good ones without disturbing the others. This is a lesson – best not to put cuttings from different varieties in the same pot, they may root at different times. I’ll have to leave them for a few weeks, see if the others do anything, but then I think I’ll cut my losses, I want to make sure I give the rooted plants a chance to grow on a good bit before the winter.

There are plenty more of these hardwood cuttings brewing away, but they do not look ready, I will leave them be for a month or two, maybe even until the autumn.

I’m pretty happy with the results so far,  I’ve got a bunch of plants for not much effort.  Hardwood cuttings produce results slowly, but do not require any special equipment, conditions, care or much of anything really.  They just need leaving alone for a few months.

I’ll be back soon, with more propagation news and tips.

Have you had any luck with hardwood cuttings this spring?