Stem, root or leaf cuttings are the nursery standard for the propagation of perennials, especially those whose clumps grow woody with time. The benefit of this method is that the young plants are true clones of their parents.

Leaf cutting is the simplest and most miraculous of the methods. It works for African violets, hydrangeas and begonias and it consists of picking a leaf with a long stem and sticking it in the ground. That’s all. If you happen to have rooting hormone, it doesn’t hurt to dip the stem in it before planting. If not, honey will also work. If not, just add water. I didn’t believe it either until I experienced it myself.

Stem cuttings are the most common, used for most of the woody perennials, including but not limited to roses, rosemary, lavender, fuchsias, mums and geraniums. Pick a sturdy stem that is woody but still green, cut it into four to six inch long pieces that contain at least one growth bud, bruise the end to kick start the plant’s rooting process and plant it. Both the medium and the cutting must be kept consistently moist. Some people like to mist their plants, others prefer to cover them with a clear jar to create a greenhouse effect. Some plants take a long time to root, but you’ll know if the process worked when the cutting starts sprouting new growth.

Root cuttings are used for the propagation of woody shrubs - lilacs, raspberries, Oregon grape hollies, mock oranges and Japanese anemones. Dig up roots that are at least the thickness of a pencil while the plant is dormant and cut sections three to six inches long that have one or two growth nodes. After planting, water well to ensure the roots are well settled into the ground and there are no air pockets around them.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.