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Some plant species are very very easy to propagate – they barely need any help. The technique shown here works for a wide range of woody stemmed plants including Grapes and Devil’s Claw (which a lot of folks use as a rootstock) it’s especially good for harder stemmed members of the Solanum Family such as Tamarillo, Kangaroo Apple and Eggplants.
All you need to do us cut lengths of older stem about 1/2 to 1 cm thick and 5 -10 cm long. Make sure the cut is clean and there are no bits hanging off. If there are any leaves on the cutting, remove all except for the top two. Cut these in half.
You do this so that the leaves can continue to photosynthesise and provide a little energy to the cutting. Snipping them in half reduces the amount of moisture that is lost to evaporation. You can remove the leaves entirely, but I like to give the potential new plant a boost.
Give the newly cut end a rinse in clean water and dip it in natural, preferably organic, honey. Yes, honey!
Honey is a great healer for plants as well as people, it is antimicrobial and will help protect the wound from bacterial and fungal attack until it heals. It also promotes growth.
All that you have to do is dip the cutting in the honey so that the wound and the lower centimetre is lightly coated. Easy! You can also add a small touch of honey to any wounds on the cutting, from removing branches, stems or leaves. That’ll help them heal nicely.
Make a hole for the cutting in damp potting mix or compost and place the honey coated end into it, then firm up the potting mix around it. Don’t water for a couple of days so that you don’t wash off the honey while it’s doing its job. The moisture in the potting mix should be enough for now, unless the weather is very hot,then you may need to lightly water.
Keep the potting mix damp but not wet. It may take a couple of weeks for roots to grow, it depends on the time of year and the type of plant.
Place the container with the cuttings into a greenhouse or put it into a sheltered spot. I like to use these deep plastic tubs that help keep a little extra humidity in to stop the cuttings from drying out. That’s a trick I learned from Joe at Joe’s Connected Gardens.
In a couple of weeks, the majority of your cuttings will have grown roots and will be ready to transplant into pots or your garden.