Growing Herbs From Cuttings

Many plants do not produce viable seed or, if they do, it is so fiddly or slow to grow that it is easier and quicker to take cuttings from your favorite plant. Always keep your new cuttings moist and in a warm, sunny place.

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Softwood Cuttings

1. In late summer, select a non-flowering shoot 3 to 4 in (7.5 to 10 cm) long from a healthy looking plant (Image 1). Try to avoid any stems that are too young and soft as these are harder to root.

2. Cut just below a leaf node using clean, sharp snippers and remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Prepare one cutting at a time so it does not dry out or deteriorate (Image 2).

3. Insert the cutting 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 in (3 to 4 cm) deep into a 50/50 vermiculite and fine compost mix. If the cutting bends too easily, it is too young or the compost too coarse (Image 3). Water well.

Woodier Cuttings

1. Select a firm, slightly woody, non-flowering side shoot 2 to 4 in (5 to 10 cm) long and gently cut or pull it away from the main stem so a sliver of woody bark remains on the cutting (Image 1).

2. Trim any wispy strands from the heel and carefully remove all the leaves from the lower half (Image 2). Insert the cutting into a 50/50 vermiculite and fine compost mix. Water well.

Lazy Cuttings

Look carefully at the underside of herbs such as camomile and thyme and you will see aerial roots growing from their stems. These will develop quite happily if detached and grown on in their own plug or pot.

Aerial Roots Grow in Own PotEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Herbs

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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