Taking conifer cuttings

How to take conifer cuttings

Find out how to take cuttings from conifers in this easy step-by-step guide.

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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is at its best in January

Plant is at its best in February

Plant is at its best in March

Plant is at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is at its best in November

Plant is at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Conifers such as yew and cypress provide useful structure and evergreen interest in the garden, and summer is the perfect time to increase your stock. 

Conifers are propagated by taking semi-ripe cuttings from the current season’s growth, when the wood is woody at the base but soft at the tip.

You’ll need to be patient – conifers can take up to a year to root and will be ready to pot on the following autumn.

Follow our step-by-step guide to taking conifer cuttings, below.

Conifers are propagated by taking semi-ripe cuttings from the current season's growth.

You will need

  • Clean, sharp secateurs or a sharp knife
  • 9cm pot
  • Dibber or pencil
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Total time:

Step 1

Use clean, sharp secateurs to cut a length of stem that is woody at the base and green at the top. Place this in a plastic bag and process the cuttings immediately.

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Step 2

Make a few cuttings from your stem, 10-15cm long, cutting below a leaf joint. Then remove the leaves from the bottom third of the cutting – these could rot when planted in damp compost.

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Step 3

Fill a 9cm pot with free-draining compost (a 2:1 mix of cutting compost and horticultural grit). Using a dibber or pencil, make holes around the edge of the pot and insert the cuttings to leaf level.

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Step 4

Plant three cuttings per 9cm pot, then water in well and allow to drain. Place the cuttings in a warm, light spot, out of direct sun, and ensure that the compost is always moist.

Want to know more? Watch our video guide to taking semi-ripe cuttings.

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Use leftover hedge trimmings

If you have a trimmed a conifer hedge, you could select some of the trimmings to use as cuttings material.

Secateurs