How to take aeonium cuttings

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May

Takes just:

30 minutes

Dark-leaved Aeonium 'Zwartkop' is a dramatic evergreen exotic for growing in containers that stores water in its thick leaves. You can propagate it by taking cuttings, which should root in a few weeks. Take cuttings while the plants are still in active growth, to encourage speedy rooting.

Select young, slender shoots as propagation material. These will root more easily and have more vigour than older, thicker shoots.

After you've followed the steps below, leave your cuttings uncovered and keep them at a temperature of 18-20°C indoors, in a well-lit place such as on a sunny windowsill. Water your cuttings sparingly until they have rooted, taking care not to water directly onto the leaves. Aim to keep the compost barely moist at all times.

You will need

Sharp secateurs

Deep 5cm or 8cm pots

Soil-based potting compost

Grit

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Take cuttings of healthy shoots with stems around 10cm long. Hold the stem in your hand to steady it and cut it off flush with the main stem so you don't leave a snag. Use sharp secateurs to make a clean cut.

Place the cuttings on their side and leave them somewhere dry and warm for a few days until the wound has calloused (see cutting on left of picture). This will reduce the chance of the cutting developing rot later on.

Insert cuttings into deep 5cm or 8cm pots of soil-based potting compost mixed with equal parts grit. Firm the compost at the base of the cutting and make sure that at least half of the stem is above compost level.

Sprinkle a 1cm layer of crushed grit or perlite over the compost surface after gently watering each cutting. Give the pot a shake to leave a level surface. This layer helps keep the stem dry by improving drainage.

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