HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM FUCHSIA



Fuchsias are one of the country's favourite ornamental plants. The trouble is, with so many stunning varieties to choose from, it can end up being very expensive if you try and satisfy your every Fuchsia wish.

However, all is not lost as you can always consider taking Fuchsia cuttings  from the shoots of established plants. In fact, Fuchsia cuttings will root very easily if given the right of conditions.

The trouble is - and I have experienced this myself - is that many growers commonly complain of a high proportion of failure in their their fuchsia cuttings.

So what then, are the secrets to successfully rooting fuchsia?

It is important to take fuchsia cuttings only from plants that are in the very best condition, and the parent plants should have been properly watered a few hours before the cutting are taken. Having removed your cutting it should be inserted into its rooting medium as soon as possible. The next trick is to not allow your cuttings to wilt or that will be the end of it!

To achieve this, your fuchsia cuttings should be kept as turgid as possible and this is achieved by keeping them in an area of high humidity.

This can be done by placing your cuttings in a propagator or by covering them in a clear plastic bag. Just make sure the leaves do not touch the edges. They should also be shaded from the sun.

Contrary to popular belief, the use of rooting hormones is not really necessary for fuchsia cuttings especially if the piece of material has been removed from the very tip of the plant; This type of fuchsia cutting is known as a soft tip cutting.

How to propagate fuchsias from cuttings

If you intend to take a decent number of Fuchsia cuttings then it may be worth investing in a heated propagator. By enabling a soil temperature of just 68F (20C) you can expect a quicker and far more successful rooting.

Choose a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting' but consider mixing the compost together with some horticultural grit or perlite to help improve drainage.

Green, soft tip cuttings of fuchsias can be taken all year round, but the best time of the year will be the spring when growth is in full spring. The cut on the stem needs to be made above a set of leaves, leaving three sets of leaves above the cut. During the process of taking the cutting, be careful not to damage the stem - wherever possible, handle the cutting by the leaves.

Trim the cutting to immediately below the third set of leaves. Then, carefully trim off the lower set of leaves with a sharp knife, including any small shoots at the leaf nodes.

Take your Fuchsia cuttings as small as possible because these tiny cuttings can begin to root in 10 days or less. Now, gently push the cutting in around the edge of the pot so the leaves are just resting on the top of the compost.

Do not firm the fuchsia cuttings in the first watering will do that, and make sure you label each cutting if you insert many different varieties in the same pot or tray.

Be aware that once your cuttings have taken root, the most common cause of death of cuttings is over watering drowning followed by fungal disease.

So provide good ventilation and allow your plants to dry sufficiently between watering.

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