There’s a lot of debate over the way people aid their cuttings. Many people swear by hormone rooting powder whilst others see no benefit and prefer just to stick their cutting in some soil. I’ve never really bothered with anything but just soil and water although a few days ago I found some rooting gel in my local pound shop. I’m not expecting it to work wonders, after all it was only £1, but could it help the cuttings to take? Another method that I like the sound of is using a dissolved vitamine C tablet in a mug of water, this method is great because we’ve got some rarely used tablets in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
Although I don’t have the more popular rooting powder I think it would be a good idea if I did a little experiment; see if using the dissolved tablet or the gel makes any difference compared to just bunging the cutting in the soil.
My victim for this is a lavender bush. We have a few that were planted together about 6 or 7 years ago but now they look a bit woody and although they continue to flower every year, attracting plenty of bees, they aren’t so nice to look at in the winter when the woody stems are really visible. Luckily, there is plenty of new, healthy looking growth on the plants, perfect for my experiment.
I took off 12 small new shoots all the same size and quickly took them over to the seating area where I had already prepared the pots. There I took away the bottom few pairs of leaves, nipt off the top growing point and either dunked them in plain water, rooting gel or the mug filled with the dissolved vitamine C tablet. I managed to do this pretty quickly, before any of the young cuttings could wilt and then gave them a good soak with my mister. After labelling them all I’ve put them in the summer house where its warm enough incase we do get a frost and it gets enough light but won’t get so hot that the compost will dry really quickly. I’ll keep updating you on their progress and if successful, I’ll use most of the lavender plants to re-fill the border where the current woody ones are. The few that remain will be planted at the allotment to lure in the bees and other pollinating insects.
Do you use anything to help your cuttings or do you have any top tips?