Cutting is a widely used propagation method, since it offers considerable advantages: many cuttings root very easily, requiring few tricks for the success of the operation; from a single plant, even a small one, you can get countless cuttings; in general the plants obtained by cuttings are identical to the mother plant. There are different types of cutting, which are produced in particular periods of the year; from every single plant they can be produced cuttings of a different type, although in general each plant shows a more or less rapid rooting depending on the type of cuttings which it was decided to withdraw: for example the geraniums root very easily for cutting herbaceous; the most recommended rose cuttings are woody or semi-woody ones; begonias spread quickly to cutting foliar; and so on. Before taking cuttings it is therefore good to inquire about the type of cutting that can guarantee greater successes depending on the plant we want to propagate.
The herbaceous cuttings are practiced in late winter or in spring, taking an apical portion of branch, or a small branch, trying to preserve a "foot", that is a small part of the rind of the branch to which it was attached. In general the herbaceous cuttings are very indicated in the case of herbaceous plants, perennials, or vivacious plants, and also for small shrubs; less suitable in the case of trees or large shrubs, in this case in fact the young shoots generally have few nutrients stored in their tissues and are able to live for a very short time if separated from the mother plant, which gives little chance of successful at the cuttings.
The semi-woody cuttings are practiced in the summer, taking portions of young branch, but already partially lignified, finning just below a knot; this type of cuttings are taken from trees and shrubs and can be apical, or include the top of a branch, which must be promptly cut, to avoid excessive growth of the cutting in height; or semi-woody stem cuttings, which include a portion of branch that has some knots. These cuttings are generally 10-15 cm long, some can be produced by cutting a single branch from the plant, to be divided later into portions; they are buried for a few centimeters, inserting at least one node in the rooting compound, the point from which the new roots will develop. Before burial the cutting It is good to remove the leaves in the lower part, for at least one third of the length of the cutting.
Woody cuttings are practiced in autumn or at the end of winter, taking portions of branches of the previous year, so not from excessively old branches; the cuttings must be 10-15 cm long, or slightly more; It is good to remove a small portion of bark from the lower part of the branch, to favor rooting; in general the leaves are raised in the lower part of the cutting, to the remaining leaves the external half is removed. This type of cutting is practiced with tall trees or with some shrubs.
This type of cutting is practiced at the end of winter, or at the beginning of spring: a portion of root is taken, including a root apex, and it is buried a little deeply; this type of cutting is indicated only with some plants, generally it is a little used method.
Cuttings of cactus
Cuttings of cactus and succulent plants root with great ease, so much so that this method of propagation is often used in the case of diseased plants, from which the healthy parts are removed, which are rooted so as to obtain new plants, perfect replicas of the mother plant. In general, before putting to root a cutting of succulent plant, which can be of leaf, stem, branch, etc., it is good to let it dry for a few hours, so that the cutting surface dries well; this practice increases the chances of rooting.
To increase the chances of success of the propagation by cuttings It is good to get suitable equipment. First of all it is essential that the cuttings are taken with a very sharp knife, or with shears that make a clean cut and without burrs, the tools must be cleaned after every cut made; the cut must be made obliquely, as in pruning.
To encourage the rooting of our cuttings it is also advisable to use rooting hormones, substances that are readily available in well-stocked garden centers, in powder or liquid form, in which the lower part of the cuttings must be immersed before placing them in the ground; these substances simulate the hormones that are produced in the apices of the branches of plants, from which they are sent to the roots, to stimulate their development.
Our cuttings will have to be rooted in shallow, wide and well cleaned containers, possibly sterilized, in order to avoid the possible presence of bacteria or molds.
Shrub or tree cuttings can also be rooted in individual containers, where they will remain even after rooting.
Once the portions of stem, leaf or root have been taken, it is time to place them in a container; the rooting substrate is a very important element for the rooting of the cuttings: they need a light soil, well ventilated, and that can hold back a little humidity; generally a mixture consisting of washed river sand and well-chopped peat is used, to which is added a small part of perlite, to increase aeration; to maintain humidity it is also advisable to mix 15-20% of very fine vermiculite or pine bark with the soil. To avoid mold growth it is advisable to sterilize the soil, with steam or in the oven, at 100-120 ° C for a few minutes.
The plant portions must be buried a few centimeters, gently pressing the earth around the base; the leaf cuttings simply rest on the rooting substrate
How to water
Water is one of the most important elements for plant development, and it is also important for cuttings; the rooting substrate must be kept constantly humid, preventing it from drying too much or remaining excessively soaked in water, if possible it should be vaporized regularly, at least twice a day. It is also very important to maintain a high level of environmental humidity, in the case of few cuttings it is advisable to close the containers in a transparent plastic bag, in this case however it will be good to monitor the possible development of fungal diseases.
The cakery containers should be stored in a bright place, but not directly exposed to sunlight, and protected from excessive cold and heat. In winter it is sufficient to place the cuttings in a cold greenhouse; in spring and summer they should be kept in a shady and well-ventilated place.
The new plants obtained by cuttings will be cultivated in a container for at least two years before they can be planted; the cuttings of herbaceous plants, of perennials and lively plants, once rooted, can be planted as soon as the weather permits.
Cutting: Fig cutting
There fig cutting It is an excellent method to obtain fig plants with the same identical characteristics as those we want to reproduce. The most effective cutting method used for this plant is certainly the cutting woody which consists in taking a relatively young portion of the branch from the mother plant to give life to a new individual.
More specifically, a 15-20 cm portion of the branch containing a few buds and a few leaves must be taken from the plant. The basal part of the twig must be peeled and the fig leaves of the basal part must also be eliminated, cleaning the initial part of the twig. The taken cuttings will then be placed in a jar inside which we will have previously placed rich and moist soil. To have a greater success rate, we can place rooting powder on the basal part of the branch, a product available in all nurseries and garden centers that helps plants to emit roots after a cutting.
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