Cuttings of Annuals and Perennials

What is a Cutting?
A cutting is a piece of the plant's stem, about 3 to 6 inches long and containing some leaves. Usually you cut the plant around the outside where the youngest, tender stems are found. Use a scissors or pruning tool.

Most annual flowers are so easy to find in the local garden center or home center that you may not find it worth the energy to try to propagate them yourself. However, you may reconsider when you realize that a few common annuals are unbelievably easy to reproduce by rooting cuttings.

Coleus, impatiens, begonias, and geraniums will produce roots when you stick a 3 to 5 inch log cutting in a glass of water and set it in a well-lit window. As soon as some roots are showing, plant these cuttings in pots or directly into the garden, where they should be kept shaded for the first three or four days.

Another way to root annuals avoids the possibility of having the stems rot before the roots develop. This calls for setting your cuttings in some kind of soilles rooting medium such as vermiculite. Or use sand or a light potting mix. Thoroughly moisten the vermiculite and dip the end of each cutting in a commercail root stimulator or rooting hormone (available at any garden center) before sticking it down into the medium. Keep the vermiculite moist but not wet. Roos should appear in about two to three weeks.

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