How to take hardwood cuttings

Do it:

Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb

Takes just:

15 minutes

Hardwood cuttings are taken from woody perennials e.g. forsythia, cornus and willow in autumn and winter. They can take several months to produce roots, so leave them for a year before lifting and potting up or transplanting.

You will need

  • Secateurs
  • Spade
  • Sharp sand or grit
  • Hormone rooting powder (optional)

Advertisement

Look for well-ripened, pencil-thick shoots and remove them horizontally below a node, leaf joint or bud, using secateurs.

Prepare each cutting by removing the shoot tip just above a bud, and trimming the bottom just below another bud. Trim the cuttings to roughly 20cm in length.

If you have a rooting compound, dip each cutting into it before planting. Insert the cuttings roughly 10cm deep into a pot filled with loam-based cuttings compost and overwinter them in a coldframe. Keep the cuttings watered and shoots should start to appear next spring. Leave plants for at least 12 months before transplanting.

Advertisement

If you are propagating a whole hedge you can place lots of cuttings in a slit trench in a sheltered nursery bed. Line a 15cm-deep trench with a layer of horticultural sand and insert the cuttings, spacing them 5cm apart.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to extract seeds from berries

How to plant outdoors

How to make a trellis from hazel poles

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Autumn perennials

Fill your borders with high-impact perennials. You'll save 20% on all autumn-planting perennials at Sarah Raven.

Use code: GW16WPEREN

Order now

FREE P&P

Butterfly perennials

Buy 1-litre-potted butterfly-friendly perennials from as little as £6.25 each with this multi-buy saving, plus free p&p.

Order now

SAVE 10%

Subscriber only content

Save at Plants Galore

Save 10% on your shopping at Plants Galore, choosing from their great range of plants, as well as garden furniture, planters, wildlife accessories and more.

Unlock now