What are Cuttings in Gardening
Taking cuttings requires slightly more dexterity than dividing plants, but is still surprisingly easy. This is certainly an important technique for a gardener to master, as some plants cannot be reproduced any other way.
It is also the ideal method to use when the owner of an admired plant may not want to dig it up and divide it, but is more than willing to snip a little bit of you. So, why do you take cuttings? Like making divisions, taking cuttings is a vegetative way of propagation.
In other words, it is taking part of the original plant and reproducing it, and therefore it will have all the same qualities as its parent. It takes a bit more time and trouble than making divisions but is an essential technique as not all plants are easily divided.
This is particularly true for those plants that do not spread, but are restricted to a central rosette, as well as many tap rooted plants which have just one long, main root.
Unlike other propagation methods, you can grow cuttings with various levels of sophistication equipment varies from costly mist propagators, for the serious gardener who wants quantity or those dealing with plants that are tricky to propagate, through medium priced propagators to simple plastic bags (fine for the average gardener).
The purpose of any type of apparatus is the same, to create a close, moist atmosphere around the cuttings so that they do not dry out.
A special compost or soil mix called cutting compost is usually used.
This will vary in composition, but is basically 50 per cent sand for drainage and 50 per cent a moisture retaining medium traditionally peat but now more likely to be a peat substitute.