Recently Duston and I took a trip to western Pennsylvania to visit One of Our Members, Roger Higgins in Cranesville, Pa. Roger has an amazing backyard nursery in a really small area and it is packed full of plants that he is growing.
It was pouring rain that day and cold, 37 degrees! So we are a bit soggy and it’s noisy in the video.
This is Roger’s propagation area and you can see that he uses every kind of container imaginable to put his cuttings in while they root. He course uses The Same System that I Use for Getting His Cuttings to Root Quickly.
See those black containers with the fancy black handles? No, those are not some kind of a high tech plant propagation flat. They are plastic tool trays from Home Depot. I don’t think they carry them any more, our members bought every last one they had in the stores and online in a matter of days as soon as somebody mentioned where they got them.
Of course being tool trays they don’t come with drainage holes in the bottom so Roger drilled hundreds of holes in them to mimic plant propagation flats. Many of our members also use plastic dish pans from the dollar store.
I think I lied. Roger is 6′ tall and those willow cuttings are as tall as he is! At the time of the photo they were unrooted, stuck during the winter. A willow is really the only plant where you can take a cutting that long. In another post I’ll show what Roger does with these long cuttings, it’s really cool! (Cool? Is that still cool? Or should I being saying sick, or bad or something else that sounds uncool?)
Watch the movie! Watch us slowly get soaked!
Thank you to Roger Higgins for allowing us to visit and video tape in his Cranesville, Pa Backyard Nursery. Roger is a machist by trade and became a pretty darn good nurseryman after Joining Our Group of Backyard Growers.
We’ve got growers like Roger all over the United States and a whole bunch of other countries as well.
Questions, comments, mean things to say? Post them below and I’ll respond.
You have lots of good information! Thanks! Now, I would like to know if you can take cuttings from weeping cherry trees and when one should do it? I have an older tree and would like to try and take cuttings but not sure how to do it. Thanks!
BJ, some weeping cherries can be grown from a cutting, but you need to do it when the wood is nice and soft in June. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
I’ve started some tree cuttings … pear, maple, dogwood, crab apple, and, not sure of the name … spikey tree that is great for firewood … I think the Cherokee’s referred to it as “fire in the belly”.
To my amazement they are all budding. I just found your site and watched the video about pruning back cuttings. The buds are at the top (about 5” to 6” up from soil). One, is it possible to move cuttings directly into the ground outside ( mulchy ground cover with some healthy fungal life … partially shaded. Once they put off leaves and do I bury them up to the leaves/buds; or, two, do I wait for leaves to come out of the top and prune them back to be short and leafless; or ….
Thanks for any advice!
I’m in North Georgia
Most importantly wait until they are well rooted. When you tug on them do you feel resistance, that means they are rooting. Many trees are difficult to do as cuttings. Many are grown from seed for that reason. Once well rooted you can plant them in the ground but I’d wait until they are dormant. Unrooted cuttings often make buds and leaves but without roots they cannot be moved.
My parents are putting their house on the market in March. They have a cherry tree and apple tree that was grown from cuttings from my nonno’s orchard (he was from a family of gardeners), as well as lilac bushes, that we’d like to take cuttings from to grow at their new house.
We’re wondering if there’s a way to take cuttings from them at this time of year (January) in Southern Ontario for the best possible chance of survival.
You can try them as hardwoods, see this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/ or if you still have access to them in June try this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Michelle G says
Hi Mike! I love your videos & your articles are so funny. They all make me smile. I put up this bamboo fence stuff & i think it’s called… trellis stuff. Well you can still see thru it A LOT & I don’t want to be able to see my neighbors hoarding back yard. I cut a whole bunch of trumpet vine & purchased a rooting compound. I see you’ve used sand in many of your rooting videos. Would i do the same here? Would you please tell me the ideal way to do this? Thank you so much, & keep up the AWESOME work!!
Review this info, sand or potting mix can work. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
I just tried rooting a rose cutting from my sister’s roses. Granted, i didnt have your info then, but I followed other videos and thought it would turn out ok. I cut the top 6 inches frim her rose bush, stripped the bottom leaves leaving a couple of leaves at the top. I took a knife and scraped the bottom 3 inches of the cutting and then dipped it in Rootone. I planted it in a mix of perlite and potting soil (3/4 perlite, 1 part soil) which I had in the bottom half of a pepsi bottle. I then placed the top part of the Pepsi bottle over the cutting after dampening the soil and misting the cutting. In one week, the cutting was black and dead. Questions….was the potting soil to blame? Remember I didnt have your program at the time! (Also, wyoming is so VERY underpopulated that it may be difficult for me to get rhe ‘ingredients needed for your miracle soil recipe as there are so many things merchants arent carrying around here) Did I make a cutting from the wrong part of the plant? Did I make it at the wrong time? As for timing….we live on the edge of zone 4/5. When is the best time to take cuttings for roses, trees (Hawthorne), shrubs (elderberry) in my area? What about Jasmine? And last, is rooting hormone a must? Sorry for all rhe mumerous questions, but if I dont at least ask, I wont receive lol. Thanks so much!!
Roses are tricky so you should always do a lot of cuttings, not just one. The soil you used might have been too soggy. Timing? This about my “Six Week Rule”.
In northern Ohio the six week rule is typically June 1st. So that means that in southern Ohio the six week rule would probably be around the third week of May.
You have to find your own six week rule.
The Six Week Rule
Here’s the thing with softwood cuttings. Forget about what they say online (as if I’m not online pumping out info online!) about bloom date etc. If you follow the six week rule you can’t go wrong as far as timing is concerned.
From the day plants get their leaves in the spring, count ahead six weeks. During that six week period the plant actually produces, for you, about 5 or 6 inches of new, soft growth that can be used for softwood cuttings. That new growth needs six weeks to harden off enough to be used as a softwood cutting.
If you take the cuttings too soon, they will wilt down and fail, but most importantly you will have wasted those cuttings. You can take a few, stick under mist, and see how they hold up. If they stand up, you’re good to go. Some wilting is normal, but not laying flat on the rooting medium.
So anytime after the six week date is good until the wood starts to harden off near the end of summer.
Thanks for the reply. Will shoot for next year
Of course I DID have to pick something tricky first off 🙂
Please help! Last winter we took your advice and have many hardwood limelight hydrangea cuttings. They are now growing leaves but no roots yet. Well one by one the leaves are slowly wilting and then eventually dying. I’m keeping them watered. Do you think it could be too much sun? They are still in the ground. Would it help to pot them up? Thanks for any advice you can offer!
When I do hardwood cuttings I simply stick them, water as needed and pretty much ignore them. Eventually the good ones look better and those that didn’t make it fail. Some shade might help. Keep in mind the name limelight is trademarked and you cannot use it. this plant was patented and might still be, not really sure.
I watched your video about trimming and potting Gold Coast juniper on YouTube. Did you start those from cuttings or seed? I am trying to start some juniper bushes and I picked the seeds off a juniper Bush by my house last fall. I had them cold stratifying in the fridge over Winter and I was going try to start them outside this spring. Can I just start them from cuttings?
They are usually done by cuttings in the summer, fall or winter.
Christian Brideau says
hey mike how to propagate maple tree? if propagating a red one , is she gonna grow green or red cause i know those ones need to be graft..
Japanese maples can be grown from seed and it’s fairly easy. But the highly desired varieties need to be grafted. See this site; http://japanesemaplelovers.com/
Bill Grubbs says
I purchased some of your books several years ago. I recently built an system and would like to purchase your instructions on how often and how long to turn it on. Is that possible?
We don’t sell any of that separately, best bet would be to test drive the members area when it is open next.
samson ndou says
I would like .to know steps on how to propagate peaches cuttings in Winter times..
I would like to know how long do they take to root
Once they are rooted ,can I transplant immediately or how long must I wait .
Is is advisable to cover them in Plastic?
I’d say your best bet for peaches would be softwood cuttings in the summer. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/, most fruit trees like peaches are budded on to a roostock.
My neighbor has a Tulip tree, can I get a cutting from it.
Can you take cutting from any flowering tree.
Most shrubs and evergreens do well as cuttings. Trees are more challenging. Some are grown from seed, some are budded or grafted. But you can try, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Sry I tried to log in the reply said you never heard of me,lol. Yet I get tons of emails from you,lol.
Any way I tried Propagating cutting last fall. Well about 3 started growing out of 40 or 50?
I thought I was following Mike’s instructions to the tee.
P.S. Can you inter me in the giveaway?
Do this in June, https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/, not sure about a give a way, don’t think we have one going at the moment. I’ll have to ask Duston, maybe we need to do one.