Six on Saturday – Cut and Change

I’m going to cut to the chase, without further ado. Pronto, as it were. There will be no dilly-dallying or beating about the bush. I shall abandon the preliminaries and get stuck in immediately, foregoing the unnecessary preambles, because I’m eager to cut corners in order to get to the nub of the matter. Simply put, it’s the last weekend of August. It’s time for me to start making baby plants from cuttings. I’m cutting corners (twice) and layers of red tape to bring you my Six this Saturday. There are thirty cuttings and five rooted seedlings below. That’s thirty-five. Triocha-cúig.

1 and 2: Lavender & Fuchsia

I was kindly asked to stop using peat-based compost recently, and I gave the matter some thought. Not much thought, but enough. I rummaged in the shed to find that I already have an organic peat-free bag hiding behind the other ones, so I used it, mixed with some sand, to pot up some fuchsia and lavender cuttings.

9 Lavender & 6 Fuchsia

There is a growing trend (yes, a growing trend) to move away from using peat. I had known about it from my work in the local garden centre last year, yet it sometimes takes a little kick up the ar backside to make change happen. Likely, it may be a bit too nutritious, so I’m wondering is there a peat-free product specifically for cuttings and/or seed-sowing? I’m sure there is. I love answering my own question! I’m sure others reading this may also love answering my question.  I am learning so much from other gardeners and I’m happy to be more enlightened.

3. Hebe ‘Rhubarb and Custard’

I wrote about this only a dew days ago, and I’m not in the habit of repeating myself so go check it out here. The comments section highlights the gentle kick up the backside mentioned above.

Nine Hebe Rhubarb & Custard

4. Skimmia ‘Temptation’

I notice that some of the leaves of this (gift from my daughter for Christmas 2018) are cut. It’s not unusual to cut large leaves when taking cuttings. There’s a very good reason for it.

3 Skimmia

5. Leucothoe ‘Red Lips’

The common name has me smiling! It’s called Dog Hobble. Smiling is good as it helps exercise many facial muscles that simply do not get moving while sulking. Dog Hobble Red Lips. Again, I decided to snip the leaves horizontally for the same very good reason as above.

3 Dog Hobble

6. Helleborus

This one is not a cutting, but rather a few small rooted seedlings that had grown beneath the parent plant. It’s a plant that I really like. There’s an interesting story I’d like to share about this parent plant.

5 Hellebores
In 2018 we noticed that it was  being ravaged by whitefly after flowering. I wanted to deal with the blighters privately and Marion wanted the plant snipped to ground level, but I objected strongly. I returned home one fine day to find that it had been given a haircut. Number one. Later, peace was restored when I discovered that there were little seedlings seeding beneath. My wife is always right. I must write that seventy times. 

Other News

  • Storm Francis brought lots more rain last Monday night and very blustery winds on Tuesday. Very strangely, there were a few hours of lovely gardening weather in between. No damage this time. Sadly though, I got word that our friends in Santa Cruz have had to evacuate their home because of the raging fires there.
  • America has had very severe problems. Ireland had Golfgate. Both are horrific.
  • Our new Budda is in situ and I rub his belly every few days. It seems that lots of rain follows.

Get involved…

Has anyone got tips or tricks about taking plant cuttings? Or perhaps advice about what has worked or failed? Do please share. I am more than happy to get as good as I give.

That’s my lot for this week, a cháirde. I’ll be back with more an Satharn seo chugainn. In the meantime, please visit Mr. Propagator’s garden blog where you can find many more Six on Saturday offerings from around the world, together with details of how to participate if that’s your thing. I hope you have a great week, be it in the garden, the potting shed or elsewhere. Slán go fóill.

About the Author: Pádraig is the author of GrowWriteRepeat. He loves cutting plants, baby seedlings and Dog Hobble. He also loves the Buddha’s big belly, but not storms in August.


29th August 2020.

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Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – Cut and Change”

  1. Lots of potential plants there! I’ve had mixed fortunes growing things from seed using New Horizon peat free compost this year. Things germinated well enough initially but once potted on, etc., stalled. It might just be bad luck. I’m toying with trying some of the Dalefoot composts next year (they have a seeds one).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve put doubt in my mind, even before I’ve had coffee! 🤔 On the upside, I’ve used sand for some of them so it will be a learning experience.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have seen about half a dozen lovely shrubs in neighbouring gardens worth taking cuttings from. I’ll need to be quick to ask permission. Then I can do the decent thing by offering a plant in return.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I deliberately didn’t elaborate in the hope someone might ask! Large leaves try to draw more moisture and nutrients from roots that are not yet formed. Cutting them allows roots to develop quicker. I think that’s the reason, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone says that peat-free soils are excellent and unfortunately it is difficult to find any here in France. Like you said it’s a trend but a good trend. In all garden centers you can only find soil with peat. You have to make your own mixes to aerate and drain the soil. I can find it online, but it’s very expensive and small bags. I envy you, in the UK!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As with any new trend, slow to gather pace if retailers don’t keep stock, and yes it’s more expensive at present. Anyway, I’ll do my little bit. (Note: Ireland is not in UK, a chara! Thankfully, we are now independent and thriving.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Second attempt at leaving a reply….not sure what went wrong the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and had a chuckle. Your cuttings are looking fine. I personally use a potting mix with a higher proportion of sand in it to give drainage and thus reduce the risk of rot. This does not always work though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for persisting. It may be a WP issue as I had same problem yesterday. Yes I feel that mixing sand in is beneficial. If I get anything near 50% I’ll be very happy.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m waiting for Hebe ‘Starlight’ to come into stock, and I’ll keep your little tutorial in mind until a suitable time.

    My greenhouse is usually full of cuttings at this time of the year, but I told myself I wasn’t taking cuttings this year. You’re tempting me back into the cuttings fold. I use Perlite (plus whatever compost I can get hold of) instead of sand, I find it more open and lighter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Starlight… I’ll go check that out, Catherine.
      Doing cuttings successfully is fascinating. I lost a beautiful Salvia Red Lips last year, despite promising myself several times that I’d clone it. Lesson learned, and I really just want to have one spare plant of each, and likely give away some to friends.

      Liked by 2 people

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