Growing cuttings of your favorite plant can be frustrating. Even trees that are well known for growing easily from cuttings sometimes aren’t that easy. You end up with dead sticks poking up out of a pot, and a few brown leaves fluttering like flags of disappointment.
Propagating cuttings can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be!
Here’s a guide to a unique, organic, natural, and simple method of cultivating those cuttings. You’ll have all the roses, lemons, figs, apples, walnuts, camellias, or even giant redwoods that you want!
This method is based on scientific principles, but it dates back hundreds of years. It only uses things you probably already have around the house.
Plus, it isn’t a lot of work! As a gardener, that is music to your ears.
Step-by-Step Natural Plant Cuttings
To get straight to the point, you’ll need a few ‘magic’ ingredients for this trick. They might sound odd, but they will be explained. Before you head into your garden, pop into your kitchen.
You need cinnamon powder and a small potato. You’ll also need honey, and not just for the cup of tea when you’re done!
Cuttings work best in spring and summer. That gives them time to develop a healthy root system before winter comes. However, depending on your location’s climate (or if you have a greenhouse), you might be able to take cuttings at any time of the year.
1. Take a Cutting From a Healthy Plant
You want to cut between 4 and 9 inches of a new, vibrant stem. There should be only a few sets of leaves or your cutting.
2. Slice the End of the Stem Diagonally
Slice the end of the stem diagonally, at a 45-degree angle, and then dip it in the honey. (Where to buy raw honey)
Honey is more than a sugar source- it is also anti-bacterial.
The main reason for plant cuttings wilting, including fresh flowers, is bacterial growth. Bacteria will clog up the ‘drinking straws’ of the plant.
That is why regularly changing the water of fresh-cut flowers helps to preserve them for longer. Most flower-food recipes include vinegar, lemon juice, or a few drops of bleach for exactly this reason.
3. Dip the Cutting in the Cinnamon Powder
After dipping the stem in honey, dip it in the cinnamon powder. (Where to buy organic cinnamon powder)
Don’t lick it off, however tempting!
Cinnamon bark powder, the same stuff you use in baking recipes, contains natural rooting hormones. These will stimulate the root growth of any plant.
4. Finally, the Potato!
You’ll want to remove any of the ‘eyes’ of the potato and cut or drill a small hole in it. The hole should be the same size as the diameter of your cut stem, so it fits in nice and snug.
The potato will provide water and nutrients to the cutting. Because you have removed the eyes, the potato will break down into the soil instead of growing itself. You can use half a potato if it is too big.
5. Bury the Potato
Bury the potato in a pot full of potting mix or even healthy soil from your garden. You want to make sure it is covered completely, and that there is enough space for the young plant to grow.
This technique can even be effective when planted directly in a garden bed!
That’s it! Simple!
6. Leave Your Cutting to Grow
Now leave your cutting in a well-lit spot, safe from harsh environments, and wait. Keep the soil moist, like with any potted plant. The potato will help forgive any gaps between watering.
This method works wonders. It provides your cuttings with an anti-bacterial supply of water and nutrients while they are still developing their root structure. By the time winter arrives, you should have thriving plants. They will be healthier than any other method of propagating cuttings.