Propagating plants - taking stem cuttings

How to take softwood penstemon cuttings

Find out how to propagate fresh stock of penstemons, by taking softwood cuttings.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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 To do in June

Do 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

Summer is an ideal time to take softwood cuttings from penstemons. These will root quickly to give you new plants for next year’s border. Select non-flowering shoots from the plants, cutting them off first thing in the morning.

Discover how to take penstemon cuttings, below.


You Will Need

  • Penstemon
  • Secateurs
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • 10cm pot
  • Clear polythene bags

Total time:

Step 1

Use sharp secateurs to cut just below a leaf joint, about 10cm from the tip of your shoot. Then, strip off the lower leaves.

Cutting the penstemon stem
Cutting the penstemon stem

Step 2

Insert the cuttings into compost next to the sides of the pot, where it’s warmer.

Penstemon cuttings in compost
Penstemon cuttings in compost

Step 3

Water well and keep the cuttings in humid conditions, such as inside a plastic bag.

Watering the penstemon cuttings
Watering the penstemon cuttings