How to - Techniques

Video: Propagating conifers

Grow new plants from your existing trees

Hi, I’m Stephen Westcott-Gratton from Canadiangardening.com and today I’m going to show you how to make lots of new plants from a few cuttings of conifers. It’s a great way to increase your stock of plant material. I want to extend my cedar hedge and this is a really inexpensive way for me to do it.

It’s important to take cuttings that are facing upright because they will continue to grow that way. Outward facing ones like this, once you get them in the pot might continue on in the same route, so avoid those.

Here we have a perfect cutting. Now there are too many leaves on this and it will spend way too much time transpiring and respiring, so we’re going to take the main leaf body off which leaves us with this cutting. Then trim up the bottom. 

The next thing to do is to dip it in rooting hormone - this will just expedite the natural rooting process that the cutting already has. We’re going to make a small hole in our sterile soilless mixture, that’s simply so that as you insert the root cutting, the rooting hormone doesn’t wipe off.

And there you are, just firm it in, give it a bit of a mist, and continue with all the rest of the cuttings - we should be able to get 4 or 5 into this pot. You should mist it daily to reduce transpiration stress and in 8 to 12 weeks, after spending that amount of time in a sunny window (but out of direct sunlight), you should be able to give your cuttings a tug and feel some resistance which means they’ve developed roots.



Continue keeping it evenly moist all winter long and in the spring you can take this apart, repot them into individual pots, grow them on for another 4 to 6 weeks, and then they’re ready to plant out in the garden – and I’ll have way more hedge!



For Canadiangardening.com, I’m Stephen Westcott-Gratton.

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