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Cuttings

by Gail Theron

There is something magical about taking a 5 centimeter cutting, rooting it and then developing it into a bonsai. Some might say: "A very long slow process." Not so, if you use special processes, such as, a large pot, an extensive feeding program and sacrifice branches.

Some of the advantages are:

  • It is a way to obtain rare and sought after species.
  • Your potential surface roots can be placed and trained from early on in the tree's life. You will have no major scars as a result of heavy pruning.
  • Your cuttings will bear the same characteristics as the parent plant.
  • It is an inexpensive way of adding to your collection.

TIME TO TAKE CUTTINGS

Deciduous: July to December

Evergreen: August to May

POSITION

Dappled shade protected from wind.

MATERIAL

Take cuttings of 5 to 10 cm long, trimmed from parent plant with sharp secateurs. Place each one directly into Dip n Grow solution and then plant them into containers of vermiculite or perlite.

CARE

  • Daily watering.
  • SUPERthrive should be applied twice a week.
  • After a month cuttings may be watered with SUPERthrive added to Nitrosol.

PROBLEMS

Damping-off should not occur if:

  1. You have sufficient air circulation. You do not over-water.
  2. Your growing medium drains well. Funginex can be used if there is a fungal problem.

Using the above simple method I have propagated, just to mention a few, the following species:

  • Cedrus atlantica
  • Hinoki cypress
  • Japanese black pine
  • Diospyros whyteana
  • Cotoneaster
  • Junipers of many types
  • Coleonema

Give cuttings a try! It is very creative and rewarding!

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Random Bonsai Tip

By limbering or flexing a branch or trunk you gently break the cambium layer loose and the healing process will then increase the diameter of a branch or trunk which is too thin