Summer cuttings of conifers: a step-by-step master class

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Summer cuttings of coniferous crops can be carried out during the secondary growth of shoots: in late June – early July or during the summer attenuation of growth: from mid-July to early August. It is in the warm season that the cuttings successfully take root – it is easy to create optimal conditions for this.

In mid-July, when the growth of the shoots is completed, the forming pruning of coniferous plants is most often carried out. Secondary shoots no longer appear, and buds form at the cut points, from which new branches will grow next year. Cuttings left after pruning can be used for propagation.

In our material, we will consider cuttings of thuja Brabant , Smaragd and several types of creeping junipers – popular coniferous crops that are very often used to decorate garden plots.

Before picking up a brush cutter and starting to form a crown, you can cut out extra two-year-old branches from the top of the plants with secateurs, from which cuttings can be taken.

For cuttings, shoots located on the south, well-lit side of the crown are best suited.

How to prepare cuttings for planting

To prepare the cutting, tear it off along with the “heel” – a piece of wood from the mother branch. The optimal cutting size is 8-15 cm.

Then the “heel” must be shortened: carefully cut the thin tapered part with a sharp disinfected knife. In this case, the knife must be placed on the side of the bark so that it does not separate from the branch. If the bark has gone somewhere, it must be cut, otherwise the cutting will rot.

It is especially important to carefully cut the “heel” on the juniper cuttings, since most often they are separated by a long strip of bark, which in no case should be left. The average size of the “heel” is usually 5-10 mm.

Remove all branches from the bottom of the cuttings, and shorten the tops and the longest side shoots. All work related to the preparation of cuttings should be done quickly so that the planting material does not begin to dry out.

The cuttings, ready for planting, immediately put in a solution of a root formation stimulator for 6 hours, unless otherwise indicated in the instructions for the preparation.

Is it possible to root cuttings without a “heel”

What to do with the cuttings that remained after the forming pruning? Of course, they do not have any “heel”, since they were cut with a pruner or a brush cutter. However, you can also try to root them, although there will be less chance of survival. In order to facilitate the rooting of such cuttings, you need to make an artificial “heel”.

Break out the lower branch on the handle – this place will be our artificial “heel”, and carefully cut off all the exfoliated bark. If there are no ramifications at the bottom of the cutting, simply cut at an angle and immediately place it in the root stimulator solution.

What kind of soil and what containers for planting cuttings is better to use

The soil for rooting cuttings should be light, moisture-absorbing and breathable. It is important to avoid stagnant moisture, as this can lead to rotting of the cuttings. The best option would be a mixture of coarse sand and high-moor peat in a 1: 1 ratio (by volume).

Collapsible or non-collapsible cassettes, boxes, pots are usually used as containers for planting cuttings, but they can be planted directly into the ground in a specially prepared garden bed, where a greenhouse should be equipped. However, it is most convenient to use collapsible cassettes, which will subsequently allow plants to be carefully transplanted without injuring their root system.

How to plant cuttings and care for plantings

Fill the containers for planting tightly with the prepared substrate, spill with a pink solution of potassium permanganate, and then with a solution of Fitosporin-M . When the water is absorbed, make planting holes with a stick.

Plant the cuttings at a slight angle to a depth of 2-4 cm, pressing the ground at the base. Place the containers immediately in a greenhouse, which must be built in a shady place on the site.

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If it is not possible to build a protected greenhouse bed, and there are very few cuttings, you can plant them directly in the prepared soil, covering them with plastic bottles on top.

The optimum temperature for rooting cuttings is 20-27°C during the day and 16-20°C at night. If the temperature in the greenhouse rises above 27 ° C, it must be shaded or small holes made for ventilation. Until the cuttings take root, in the summer they need to provide high humidity (80-90%), protect from direct sunlight and moisten the soil almost every day from the sprayer. Two weeks after planting, the cuttings should be watered with a solution of a root stimulator.

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