HOW TO TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM THE STRAWBERRY TREE - Arbutus unedo




While it is relatively easy to grow the Strawberry tree from seed it can take 2-3 years before you have a plant that is large enough to plant outside. A far quicker method is to take heel cuttings, 3-4 inches long of half ripened wood in July. Give the parent plant a good watering the night before and then take your cuttings early in the morning while it is still cool. Remove the cuttings with a sharp sterilized blade but only when you have your pots and equipment ready to use. If the cuttings are left lying around in the heat they will soon desiccate and failure will be guaranteed. If you have no choice but to hold on to your cuttings for a while before planting then keep them them wrapped in a moist paper towel and keep them in a cool position

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Prepare new or sterilized 3 inch pots containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting'. Alternatively you can mix your own compost using equal parts by volume - moss peat and sand. Dip the cut end of the cutting into a rooting hormone powder, tap off the excess and then using an appropriately sized dibber pre-drill a hole before placing the cutting into the compost. This stops the hormone powder being wiped off when inserting. Gently water and then place the pots into a heated propagator with a bottom heat of 16-18 degrees Celsius.

Once rooted, remove the propagator lid and turn of the heat. Move the young plant to a cold frame and leave for one or two years, potting on as necessary into larger pots containing a good quality compost such as John Innes 'No 2'. The young plants will be ready for transplanting outside into their final position the coming March to May.

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