Fuschia is another plant that is easy to propagate at this time of year. I made some new plants from similar cuttings last year, they spent the winter in the greenhouse and are waiting to be planted out. Because they didn’t die back they are a good size, well ahead of the garden fuschias. They are good for cuttings now, effectively making grandchildren plants. I confess I can’t recall the variety, but this will work regardless of variety.
First step is to clean up, make sure no contaminants get in which might cause losses during the rooting process. I’ve used bleach spray, disinfectant or rubbing alcohol are also good for this. I sprayed and wiped the tile I’m using as a cutting surface, and the blade I’m using for cuttings. It’s a Stanley knife blade. I keep meaning to invest in a scalpel or craft knife for this, but always forget to order one. The blade does the job.
In my more OCD approach to hygiene this year, I repeat this cleanup process between varieties. The rooting process can be long, several weeks, which is a long time for bugs and such to multiply and kill off the cutting before it has a chance to make a plant. I’ve read lots of accounts of improved hygiene resulting in better success rates so am trying it out.
Anyway, back to the fuschia (great movie from my yoof, btw). I next cut some stems for cuttings material. I just took 2 or 3 good ones from the young plants.
From this I took a bunch of cuttings. Using the blade, I cut through the stem just above a leaf node, and trimmed off any excess leaves. I discarded the very tip of the stems as this growth is too new and flimsy to last the rooting process, it’ll likely rot.
They can now be set up in cuttings compost. For this I have used 2 parts horticultural grit and 1 part vermiculite. It’s easiest to wet the compost before attempting to stick the cuttings in as the dibber will make better holes. I dipped the end of each stem in water, then in some rooting hormone powder, then dibbed them in around the edge of a clean 9cm pot.
Once set up, I gave them a good spray with a fungicide, till dripping wet, and gave the surface of the compost a good squirt with it too.
Finally, I covered it the pot in a ziploc bag and put the lot in the heated bench. They should root in 4 to 6 weeks, possibly less. The rooting process is more likely to succeed and succeed quickly with bottom heat, but it’s not essential. I saw an idea once, in place of a heated propagator, they had their pots resting on a bed of fairy lights. They get quite warm, and look nice into the bargain.
I’ll be back with an update on progress in a few weeks, once I see roots coming out of the pot.