HOW TO GROW SEDUM FROM CUTTINGS



The sedum genus contains approximately 600 species, 55 of which are native to Europe. Surprisingly the leaves of all sedums are edible (although this does not mean that they all taste good), but the reason why so many varieties are in production is because as garden plants they have a particular ornamental and interesting appeal and for the most part are tough as old boots.

Now I am not one to condone the collection of plant material for cuttings from private gardens, but I have recently noticed that when visiting the more popular 'pay-to-visit' gardens the more ornamental cultivars are often picked over for their new growth. Of course you should always ask the owner's permission but you can understand why it happens. Firstly the fancy cultivars have breeders rights and as such are rather expensive to purchase, and secondly they are very easy to take from cuttings.

There are two ways to take cuttings from sedums. The first is to take a standard stem cuttings while the second is to take leaf cuttings. Just remember that if the weather is hot and you are not potting your cuttings up immediately, it may be worth keeping them cool and damp until you are ready for them.

Propagating sedum from stem cuttings

Stem cuttings can be taken any time from April until September. Using a sharp, sterilized blade take 1-3 inch cuttings from a healthy, strong growing part of the plant. Try to avoid stems with flowering tips. Remove the lower third leaves (which you could then use for leaf cuttings) and the flowering tip if needed and allow to cut to callous before planting.

Insert each cutting singularly into 3 inch pots containing a very free-draining compost. John Innes 'Seed and Cutting' is a good choice, but you may consider adding more horticultural grit or sand, perlite or vermiculite to improve the drainage further. Alternatively you can make your own potting mix using 50% volume moss peat and horticultural grit. You cannot use sedge peat as a substitute for moss peat. Place the cuttings in a ventilated could frame.

The cuttings should have taken root in 4-6 weeks, after which they can be potted on into 4-5 inch pots using a good quality multi-purpose compost or John Innes 'No1' or 'No2'.

Propagating sedum from leaf cuttings

Again, leaf cuttings can be taken any time from April until September, although they are best taken early in the growing season from spring to early summer.

However instead of using a blade, carefully pull the leaf in a downwards motion to that it pulls away from the stem talking a heel of stem with it. Allow the leaf cutting to callous for a couple of days before potting. Insert into pots filled to three-quarters depth with a very free-draining compost. Again, John Innes 'Seed and Cutting' is a good choice, but you may consider adding more horticultural grit or sand, perlite or vermiculite to improve the drainage further. Be aware that the cuttings can be prone to rotting off if the compost is kept too wet.

Place in warm bright position, but out of direct sunlight, and keep the compost just slightly moist. If you are placing the cuttings in a closed propagator or other such cover make sure that the cuttings ar aired two to three weeks to reduce the incidence of fungal infections. Make sure that you also remove any decaying leaves promptly.

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