Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How To Propagate Fushias From Cuttings

This tutorial covers another easy-to-propagate flower, the fushia! This lovely plant is often found in hanging baskets, or trimmed into topiary-topped trees. It develops into a woody plant, and can often survive through a mild winter. My poor fushia finally died this winter because we had a very, very long and cold snow season. Poor thing...
I picked up an unusual purple bloomed variety called Winston Churchill. I think it looks really interesting. I usually choose the traditional ones with white blooms instead.

To propagate your fushias,
  1. Select a young side stem (non-woody) with 3-5 leaf nodes.
  2. Cut under the last leaf node.
  3. Keep cuttings fresh in water while you work. Don't let them dry out.
  4. Fill a clean container to heaping with sterile soil. Firm down soil.
  5. Use a pencil or dibber to make a deep hole in the soil, and place cutting inside hole.
  6. Push soil towards the cutting to fill the hole, and gently firm down soil around the cutting.
  7. Add more cuttings as desired.
  8. Water generously all over the plant.
  9. Place into bright location with indirect sunlight. Shade is good.
  10. Water daily to ensure the cuttings do not dry out.
The key to successful propagation is to keep your cuttings well-watered. Make sure your container has good drainage so that you can water them daily, or even twice on dry days. Do not let your cuttings have full sun until they have developed roots. Otherwise, the sun will dry out your cuttings too much and they will die.
In three weeks, your cuttings will develop roots and be ready to transplant. You'll know that the cuttings have developed roots because they will look lively instead of thirsty-looking. They'll be developing new leaves also.
See the cute little roots?
Notice that there are no roots growing directly down from the end of the cutting. The roots grow out from the leaf nodes. This is another key point to propagating plants successfully. Always keep a leaf node at the bottom so the plant can grow new roots. Some plants don't care as much. I have noticed that the impatiens and dahlias can grow roots from non-leaf-node parts of the stem. In general though, it's good to cut under a node.
I think that roots and the whole process by which a plant can make a new copy of itself from a cutting is really amazing. It would be similar to growing a clone of yourself from an arm. Nature can be so mysterious and fascinating.

Happy Gardening!

How To Propagate Plants


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I've never grown annuals because I didn't like the idea of having to replace them every year, but I found some petunias and fuchsias that needed a home and couldn't resist. (I'm a sucker for needy plants.) Now I can keep them going with cuttings. Brilliant.

BTW, I'm fascinated by the capacity of plants to root, too. It is amazing.


Mytutorlist.com said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Ah, I always find it hard to resist the needy plants too. If you ever get into growing succulents, it's super fun and they are easy to propagate too.

They're practically like pets!

Have fun with the plants!

Anonymous said...

Yes nature is wonderful better than magic ! Ps can cuttings be taken at any time of year and can they be cept alive in a cold frame for next year or do I have to start again with the seeds? I love your excellent blog thanks for posting it.

Mytutorlist.com said...

Hello! Thanks for commenting. Cuttings can be taken any time, but you need to have the correct conditions to develop the roots (ex. sunlight, warmth, etc) and the cuttings need to be healthy (not weak, limp, etc).

I have never tried keeping them alive in a cold frame. Cold frames are typically used to start seedlings earlier in Spring and to extend the growing season into Fall and Winter. In my area, they would not likely survive through Winter. Either way, it's worth a try if you have a cold frame handy :)

BarbnJes said...

I hope you're still monitoring your comments! I am trying your ideas for fall cuttings of my petunias, fuchsias, and impatiens. I, too, am tired of buying them each year, worrying that I am bringing pests and diseases into my garden. But I now need to know how to help them winter over in a colder climate, Enough light and warmth both are sadly lacking outdoors on my decks. Can they thrive indoors? Help, please!

Mytutorlist.com said...

Hi BarnJes,

Yup, I'm still around. You can try growing them indoors too, but stick them near light so that they don't look emaciated and sad. You will need to ensure that you put them in a container with good drainage so that you won't accidentally overwater them. Anyways, it's worth a try.

Good luck!