Taking hardwood cuttings is one of the easiest ways to make new plants

Now is the time for taking hardwood cuttings but the suggestions by most gardening advisers do little to excite this gardener. Species recommended are normally the cheap and easy plants- Laurel, Forsythia, Philadelphus, Ribes and the like.

But then I saw a line in an article suggesting we take hardwood cuttings of golden Catalpa and I started thinking: what else could I try? I have a chest-high Catalpa bignonioides – ‘Aurea‘ (Indian Bean Tree) in the garden but a superb specimen also grows in the local park on the banks of the river Cher. In flower this American native is a magnificent sight. References I have suggest taking cuttings in the spring but I shall make a point of trying hardwood cuttings this week and let you know how it goes. If anyone has any experience of this I would be pleased to hear about it.


Ribes and Forsythia

Of course, although I have been quick to dismiss Forsythia, Philadelphus and Ribes, many beautiful varieties of these plants are available and well worth propagating, if only I can find the plants to take cuttings from. While there is a limit to the number of each plant we can grow in our own garden, I do like to give them as gifts and home raised plants are so much more personal than buying a present from a nursery. In the mean time I do have a small list of plants I would like to try, but resolve to be more open minded to other possibilities when I am out with my secateurs.

What plants do you raise this way?

"A la Sainte Catherine, tout bois prend racine"
On the 25th of November, hardwood cuttings cannot fail......apparently.

Hi Julia,

Now is a good time for Fig cuttings; we dont eat Figs much ourselves and can always get some from friends and neighbours for jam.....but it's a great example of a suitable plant. Oleander too, but it needs to be protected in central France.

Select a nice strong shoot a cut just below a bud will give you a cutting that you can root in a sheltered corner of the garden or in a pot. Add sand if your soil is a big heavy.

Other fruit to try this way include currents and gooseberries, but my favourite would be the Black Mulberry. I have always wanted to grow one and I know upteen suitable trees to take cuttings from in the UK, but have yet to see one here.