Cuttings of hard-to-find nectar plants

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    Jacqui
    Moderator

    We are about to offer cuttings for sale again. Find out more information about what’s available here:

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/items-for-sale/cuttings/

    The link above will only work when cuttings are available.

    These plants are hard to find and flower in the winter, providing essential nectar for pollinators. If you don’t know how to deal with cuttings, here’s one way (although you can google for many other suggestions).

    1. Using a sharp knife to minimise damage, cut a stem or side shoot, 10-12 cm long, just below a leaf, and remove all but two or three leaves at the top. Best time to do this is in the morning and then keep the cuttings cool and in the dark.

    (This is what we do… then we ship the cuttings to you. They should arrive overnight or at the most in two days. Now here’s what you do…)

    2. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone if you have it. Rooting hormone is a powder or liquid containing growth hormones that stimulate root growth on cuttings. Some also contain a fungicide to control root rot. Your local garden centre will stock the product.

    3. Insert the cutting into a box or container filled with about 8 cm of moistened pure builder’s sand, vermiculite, or perlite (available from the garden centre). The ideal container should have drainage holes.

    4. Slip the container into a self-sealing plastic bag.

    5. Prop up the bag with something like toothpicks or short twigs so that the plastic doesn’t touch the leaves. Seal the bag to minimise water loss, but open it occasionally to let in fresh air.

    6. Place the covered container in indirect light.

    7. After 4-8 weeks (for most plants), test the cuttings to see if they are rooted – they will be slightly resistant to your handling them and will be putting on new growth. At this point transplant them into individual containers of potting soil.

    8. As they continue to grow, gradually expose them to more light. When the plants are well established in the pots and continue to put on top growth, harden them off. Hardening off is a simple process of gradually exposing tender plants to sunlight, wind and uneven temperatures. When plants are almost ready for the garden, take them outside for short amounts of time each day. On chilly nights, move plants into a shed, garage, or back indoors. Moving them from the porch to outside in partial sun and finally to full sun over a week’s time should do the trick.

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