Crazy right? Getting paid to sell sticks? It’s true, in Our Members Area sticks are a hot, hot, hot commodity in November, December and January. Some members sell thousands and thousands of them.
The look like sticks, but they are really valuable, Unrooted Hardwood Cuttings.
One of the easiest ways to propagate plants is during the winter, working with hardwood cuttings. A hardwood cutting is a cutting taken from a plant late in the growing season. When plants flush out with new growth in the spring the wood is very soft and pliable. Those cuttings are considered softwood.
Softwood cuttings can root very quickly and easily if you have An Automated System that Acts as Nanny watering them as needed throughout the day. I do at least 80% of my cuttings in the summer, using the automated system.
As the growing season goes on the new growth on plants starts to harden off, preparing the plant for the coming freezing weather. By November the wood on the plants is very hard and rigid.
Hardwood cuttings are very hard and durable but it does take them a lot longer to root. But you don’t have to tend to them. Just prepare them, dip them in a rooting compound (which may not even be necessary), stick them in some sand or potting soil. Water as needed and eventually they root.
Below is a list of some of the plants that I root as hardwood cuttings. Many of these are easier to do as hardwoods than they are softwoods because as I mentioned, softwoods are frail and and can fail. Whereas hardwoods are durable as can be.
However, many things cannot be done as hardwoods, so you really have check on each plant ahead of time and the best way to do that is to Simply Ask the Other Members. Collectively, they are a wealth of knowledge, information, and experience that you will find no where else. I’m extremely proud to be a member of that group.
Rose of Sharon
I’ve been taking hardwood cuttings from this Ruby Rose of Sharon for two or three years now and as you can see, the more cuttings I take the more cuttings it produces. When I take these cuttings in a few weeks I’ll cut the plant all the way down to about 10 or 12 inches from the ground. Next spring it will make new buds for each cutting that I remove it will make at least two if not three or more buds right below where I make my cuts.
Purple Flowering Sandcherry
Same with this sandcherry. You can see where I made my cuts last year. One plant can yield hundreds and hundreds of cuttings.
Pink Pussy Willow
Black Pussy Willow
Weeping Pussy Willow
Yes, I do Weeping Pussy Willow from hardwood cuttings. Do they weep? Yes, they do weep, but here’s the story. A weeping pussy willow in a garden center is typically about $80.00 because they are normally grafted onto a standard, a straight root stock and that takes time, effort, grafting skills and a few years to grow out both the root stock then the finished tree after it is grafted.
So as a novelty I root Weeping Pussy Willow hardwood cuttings, pot them up and and sell the at $5.97 with an explanation. I tell customers that they will need to be staked and I often give them a bamboo.
I explain that they can stake them or train them as an espalier along a fence or something like that. I am very up front telling them that they may never stand on their own because they are not grafted.
But people like the idea of working with the plant and since they are only paying $5.97 their expectations are exactly where they should be. They see it as a fun project.
Blue Arctic Willow
Golden Curls Willow
Java Red Weigela
Emerald Green Arborvitae
Dark Green Arborvitae
Evergreens can be done as hardwood cuttings, but if placed outside in the cold like I do all of my other hardwood cuttings the process will be very slow, and losses of 50% or more might be likely because it is going to take them 12 months to root.
Instead I do mine in early August Under the Automated System and they are rooted before winter hits. Then they over winter just fine with very few losses.
The rules for selling unrooted hardwood cuttings are pretty simple.
- You have to know exactly what you are selling and the only way to do that is to have the original plant tag. You can’t guess, assume or ask an expert. You must have the tag.
- You have to sell the cuttings fresh. Clip them, pack them up and ship them.
How do you ship them? Priority mail is fine. It’s best to leave at least 1/4″ extra on the bottom of the cutting, below the bottom node so the buyer can make a fresh cut before they stick them. Honestly? I tell people you have to Buy Some Plants from Other Members Before You Offer any For Sale.
That’s really important. Nothing trumps experience.
For more on rooting and selling hardwood cuttings watch the video below and Visit this Page about Rooting Hardwood Cuttings.
I Lied to You in this Video!
I didn’t mean to lie to you, but when I told you how much people are willing to pay for some unrooted cuttings I greatly underestimated the value that some folks are willing to pay for certain kinds of hardwood cuttings.
I told you they can sell for 15 cents to 50 cents, but apparently they are worth a lot more than that.
I am told that some unrooted cuttings of certain kinds of grape plants are being sold for $3.50 or more per unrooted cutting!
That’s a bunch of money!
Questions or comments post them below!