Rooting Cuttings

An Elderberry Cutting

An Elderberry Cutting

Seeds aren’t the only way to start new plants, another method is cloning. With cloning, you basically take the genetic material from one plant, seperate it from the donor, and encourage the cuttings to generate new roots.

I have been expirementing with cuttings all winter, with some luck. I started when it was time to prune the fruit trees, and “planted” hundreds of cuttings in my grow room.   There are a few “Jonathan Apples” cuttings that I am very hopeful about.

Some plants are exceptionally easy to propogate, such as grapes, tomatoes and  elderberries; while other plants are exceptionally difficult to clone, such as fruit trees.

The basic steps involved with Cloning are:

1.) Find a good cutting by selecting canes that have several “buds” on them. This is the location when the plant starts to grow out of. Try to get two or three buds per cutting.

2.) Prepare a mixture of Miracle Grow and peat moss, half each in the mix.

3.) Poke the cuttings into the mixture.

4.)  Mix water with a “rooting hormone mix”, and use this solution to water the cuttings. (I used Miracle Grow Quick Start Transplant Solution.)

5.) Mist them. The greatest cause of failure for cloning most plants is lack of moisture.

Here’s why I am very happy today:

A "Jonathan Apple" Cutting.

A "Jonathan Apple" Cutting.

Out of hundreds of failed clones….. This one might just make it = )

  1. January 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Where I live in North Texas, most fruit and nut trees are grafted to a root stock of a different variety. Are your cuttings from grafted trees?


  2. January 31, 2010 at 1:24 pm


    I took the cuttings from fruit trees that were planted years ago by my brother. They were bought from Wal Mart, so I imagine they were grafted at some point.

    The elderberry plants are doing excellent, but at this point I don’t think the apple tree will make it. The leaves are beginning to roll up, and appear to be dying. I’ll try again next year with a different set up.


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