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.
You Will Need
- Secateurs or a sharp knife
- 9cm pots
- Pencil or dibber
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use leftover hedge trimmings
If you have a trimmed a conifer hedge, you could select some of the trimmings to use as cuttings material.