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Cloning new plants is best done in winter

Here’s all you need to know to make a nice job of it…As someone who grew up in the tropics, surrounded by light and life all year, I will probably never get used to the long, slow decline of the garden as we slide inevitably into the UK winter. However, over the past 20 years or so, I have developed quite a few coping mechanisms to help me keep getting my horticultural fix. From winter-flowering houseplants to autumnal seed sowing, there are some simple ways to see active growth and the promise of new beginnings even when it’s bleak outside. Perhaps, however, nothing is as effective as the miracle of life that are hard wood cuttings.Like most forms of vegetative propagation, taking hardwood cuttings involves intentionally inflicting damage to a plant, which in its efforts to heal itself, sends out new roots and leaves to create a perfect genetic clone. As this type of cutting is taken when the plant is dormant – any time from mid-autumn to late winter – they will generally suffer less of a shock than when under the pressures of active growth in summer, which is what makes these cuttings, to my mind, the simplest to do. All you need to get cloning is a pair of secateurs, a spade and, depending on your soil type, a little sand. Continue reading…

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