Planting Cuttings

Figure A
Figure A
Figure B
Figure B

If you have cuttings with their roots attached, you can plant them in sterile containers with potting soil. For cuttings without roots, you need to take some additional steps to help them grow.


Cuttings require moisture and air circulation in order to root. Water alone will cut off the air circulation. That's why you should plant your cuttings in perlite or vermiculite (figure A). These sterile growing mediums will retain moisture while still allowing the flow of air.

Be sure to keep you cuttings in the shade while they are rooting. Too much sun will dry out your cuttings and decrease their chances of survival.

Expert tip (Tim Thibault, garden curator): Rooting hormone is the chemical equivalent of a plant's own natural hormone and effectively stimulates root growth.


Cuttings to be planted without roots should be stripped of most of their leaves and all of their flowers. Keeping a flower alive on a plant without roots to support it, takes a lot of energy and the flower and stem are not likely to survive.

Use chemical rooting hormone on stems to help promote root development (figure B).

Stems can be planted individually or in large flats with a cover.

Plant cuttings of stems and wood in perlite or vermiculite. Do not place cuttings in water. They are more likely to rot due to lack of oxygen before they are able to root.

Label stems with plastic labels from nurseries or with recycled popsicle sticks and a waterproof marker.

Water the cuttings using a light mister to avoid knocking over stems.

Add a bottom heater for faster rooting (figure E).