Now that the memory of the miserable cold and dry spring begins to fade and the plants have finally taken off, it is a good time to take the first summer cuttings. I wrote about this topic already a couple of years ago (where you can also find a list of plants that are suitable to take summer cuttings from), but have learned a lot of new things since then that I want to share with you in this post. First, the timing. The summer cuttings actually most likely to take root, they are completely herbaceous, which therefore has not started förveda itself. At the same time, it is the herbaceous cuttings, which is also the most sensitive to dehydration, so they need to be handled properly for best success.
This material you need to take summer cuttings:
- SEKAT is
- hand Spirits (to sterilize the pruning shears after each batch cuttings)
- Clean water in a small bucket
- Paper towels
- A plastic bag to put the cuttings in
- Water resistant labels
To do this, step by step:
Start by doing your own rotningsvätska of using a fresh twig from a willow. It helps cuttings to quickly form new roots.
- Remove the leaves from the shoots of some willow (sallow, empty, pil) and cutting it in 1-2 cm pieces.
- Pour in 1 l of water (or more if you have many cuttings) and leave 24 hours.
- Strain the branch pieces and put the liquid in the refrigerator until ready to use it
The best time to take cuttings is a windless, overcast morning with high humidity.
- Choose shoots that are at least 5-12 cm long and looks healthy and lush out.
- Snip them where they are fixed in fjorlårsveden, pull off all the leaves on the lower half of the twig and pinch the top shoot, which should help the branch to prioritize root growth before sprouting.
- Type a name tag.
- Roll into both the name tag and cuttings in paper towels and dip the whole package in the bucket with clean water.
- Add the rolls in a tightly sealed plastic bag and keep the bag dark and cool.
Once you have taken all the cuttings for this time, you can complete the process. Start by pouring rotningsvätskan in as many glasses as you have cuttings. Place the cuttings into the glasses (a black glass per) and let them soak while you prepare rotningssubstratet.
According to the serious proliferation literature I encountered lately ([1, 2]) is a mixture of pure, rather finely divided peat and sand (of the coarser variety) in the ratio 50:50 the best substrate to make cuttings to take root. Although vermiculite, small hydro granules and perlite works well instead of sand and you can opt out peat if you want. This year I have chosen to test pure perlite as substrate. I use a small pot (ca 10 cm depth) per sapling kind and puts down all the cuttings in the same pot.
The light and moisture
One more thing that I have learned since last, which is also quite logical really, is that the cuttings do not need light to take root. On the contrary: Evaporation from cuttings only increases the more light they are exposed to, both because it could overheat and that they then try to photosynthesize more, which is a water consuming process,. Since the herbaceous cuttings is so very sensitive to dehydration, they need simply the best possible conditions purely in terms of climate, and that means:
- High humidity
- Whole dead air
- some light (1% of the normal light amount sufficient)
- constant temperature (21-24 grader)
The easiest way to accomplish this is to thread a plastic bag over each sapling pot and put the pots in a dark corner in the house, where they get a little diffuse light on the, but never in direct sunlight. You can usefully put them on a baking tray and water from below at regular intervals so that the substrate you use is kept moist. Remember to aerate the plants now and then, Maybe two or three times per week, to reduce the risk of mold attack. Then you can also take the opportunity to inject a bit of water to hydrate the leaves. Remove any infested cuttings directly.
The process that is now beginning is only a healing process, where the cutting forms the so-called callus over all wounds. Then it begins to form new roots that will hopefully have time to grow before the cutting has used his powers. Only when the cutting has rooted, it is time to let in the light again. It takes from anywhere between one to six weeks. You can easily test how far they have come by lightly pulling the cutting up. Do you know the resistance is the cutting is about to take root. Now is the time to plant the cutting into a common pot of plain flat earth. Remember that the cutting is super sensitive in this situation! In our climate, it is rarely possible to plant the seedling in the same year, so all the cuttings propagated plants should stored appropriately during the first winter.
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 Dirr, M. and C.W. Heuser, The reference manual of woody plant propagation : from seed to tissue culture : a practical working guide to the propagation of over 1100 species, varieties, and cultivars. Cary, NC: Varsity Press, 2006.
 American Horticultural Society, Plant propagation. New York: DK Publ., 1999.