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A Guide for your Clients: Raising Plants from Root Cuttings

This is something that you are likely to already know as a landscaper: It pays to cultivate new plants from root cuttings. When you have finished creating the perfect garden for your paying client, leaving them with guidance for the future can pay off in the long run. Not just for them, but for you as well. Offering extra guidance reaffirms your relationship with the client. This week we are discussing the benefits of raising plants from root cuttings for you to share with clients.

Best Plants for Raising Plants from Root Cuttings

Raising plants from root cuttings is certainly a rewarding job and a great way to save money in the garden. It is a good time to start taking softwood summer cuttings around the end of July, beginning of August.
Pelargoniums and fuchsias are probably the simplest plants to propagate this way. However, you can use the same technique for ornamental sages, lavenders, thyme, rosemary and a whole variety of semi-soft-stemmed plants. After a bit of research, your clients will soon find out what roots and what does not.

How your Clients can Begin to Raise Plants from Root Cuttings

Your clients can raise plants from cuttings by taking them from their own garden. They could also ask friends and family if they have any they could take. It is a good idea to gather a few varieties and for them to get more than needed as they won’t all root.

However, although it is unlikely, it is always best to point out that public gardens and stately homes are off limits. Snipping away in these places is simply not done, although in some cases it may not hurt to ask the grounds gardeners for permission.

It is a good idea to look for a few suitable strong young shoots. Non-flowering shoots are said to be the best. Root cuttings must be between 7.5cm and 10cm (3-4 inches) long for pelargoniums and other tender perennials and 15cm (6 inches) for shrubs. However, you can take as little as 2.5cm (1 inch) from fuchsias.

The Process

Using a sharp knife, trim away the end of the stem immediately under the lowest leaves. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the shoot and you are ready to raise plants from root cuttings. And for a bonus tip? Dip the cut base in a tub of hormone rooting powder, just enough to coat the open wound at the base of the shoot. Doing so will improve the success rate as it encourages roots to appear and helps to prevent rot.

Fill small pots with a four-to-one mix of multipurpose compost and sharp sand. Push a cutting into each pot. Leave the top half sticking out. Water slightly and stand the pots with plenty of light but out of direct sun. For thin-leaved plants such as fuchsias, they will root best when stood inside a large, loose plastic bag. This is so that they will have a cushion of humidity surrounding them.

Once growing, keep the young plants under cover through the winter and water sparingly. By the time comes to plant them, your clients will have some good new plants for no cost.

Conclusion

There are many plants to choose from if your client wishes to raise plants from cuttings later in the year. Sharing this information with your clients helps them to maintain their garden in the long run. However, what’s also important is that offering guidance such as this helps to build the relationship and have them return to you or recommend you to others.

Contact Ladybrook Nursery

If you are looking for a range of plants that can be used to later raise plants from root cuttings, then look no further. Ladybrook Nursery is home to 13 acres of all kinds of garden treasures for you to use in your landscaping projects. Get in touch for more information or take a look at our plant library to see what we have to offer.

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