Friday, 10 August 2007


SHAZ made a wonderful slideshow up of her visit to the Gateshead Flower Show. One of the photos was of a standard Fuchsia. We haven't had one of these for a few years and seeing that photo gave me the urge to start taking some cuttings and starting a new one. Not having a heated greenhouse I have to overwinter cuttings on the windowsills so daren't do too many but every year I never lsten to myself and always take so many that I' hunting for space come the Winter. I'm clamping down this year though and except for the Fuchsias I'm only takings cuttings of Osteospernum Sheila and Pelargonium Black Lady...they've both done so well despite the fickle weather this year. I will of course be overwintering the mother plants too but I often find that small rooted cuttings seem to overwinter easier than larger plants. Everybody has their own method of taking cuttings and so I won't go into too much detail as to how I do it but if you're taking a cutting primarily to make a Standard Fuchsia a three leafed cutting makes a better head. I'd love to show you a photo so you can see what I mean but not one of my Fuchsias has a three leaf stem at the moment!!!

One thing I like to make sure of is that the pots and knives (I use my thumbnail) are clean and I try to cut at the junction of a non-flowering stem

This isn't always possible....if you can't or it makes the cutting too long just cut beneath a node and remove any flower buds. I like to use a really open compost and always mix a good load of vermiculite in with my potting compost (perlite, grit or sand can be used...not building sand though!)The Fuchsia and OsteospErnum cuttings I tidied up and put straight into a pot of compost (I always put them around the edge)...watered in and covered with half an empty cola bottle...then put them in a shady spot against the wall in the garden. I never bother to use hormone rooting powder or gel at this time of the year.These are a few of the Pelargonium cuttings I took..............I took off some of the lower leaves and made sure the ends of the stem were cleanly cut.....then left them to dry for a few hours.........I'd only do this with seems to stop them rotting if the ends are allowed to form a callous........When I potted them up I watered them but didn't cover them at a warm, shady spot they seem to root quite easily this way.

If your mother plant is thriving you can of course take cuttings in the Spring but I like to have something to nurture during the winter months. Of course if you've a really mild late spring you can always just snip a bit of plant off pop it into the soil against a wall and take pot luck. This is exactly what I did with a piece of the climbing Fuchsia Lady Boothby.......and look at it now!

Right that's my cutting taking done for this year................though..............well............ermmm...the Lantana, Coleus, Iresine and Verbena borensis are all quite tender and may not make it through the winter....perhaps I'll just take a few..........



jmb said...

Very good post Ruth and that Osteospernum is stunning. I always buy a few each year and toss them out in the Fall, which is a great waste but I only have east facing windows to put cuttings on and this is not good enough.
The problem with osteospernum to my mind is that they have a great floriferous period at the beginning, then put on a lot of green growth with little flowering for the rest of the season. Also I do not see a colour so beautiful as that Sheila. I would love to have that one. We tend to have purple and mauve ones with pale cream and whitish ones. This year I have one container with one cream osteospernum in the centre surrounded by common light red impatiens and the whole thing looks stunning. The osteo did it's thing initially and now the impatiens have filled in and are blooming their little heads off.

Auntie Noo said...

oooh I love Fuschias - you're an inspiration Ruth!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

OK Ruth, that is enough. Stop taking more cuttings!!! I mean it!!!!!

Did it help? ;-)

I suffer from the same prob as you, come autumn there are way too many cuttings. Luckily I've got both a conservatory and a greenhouse now to overwinter my cuttings. But because I know I have a conservatory and greenhouse I take even more cuttings than I did before so the problem has not gone away, on the contrary! :-D

Shaz said...

Thanks for this Ruth, I really want to try & grow a standard "something" . . .lol. The Hobbit gave me a standard Rosemary Bush & I love it. With the Fusia do I just keep the stem clear of shoots but leave the top to flourish??

Mark said...

Hi Ruth,
You will have to stop soon or you will run out of garden, but then if you do you can always give them away and spread the beauty.

Cheers Mark

RUTH said...

jmb; Osteos can be a bit like this unless you have the patience to dead head them. I usually give them a good trim back once the main flush is over, that way they don't get too leggy and you kid them into thinking they haven't flowered.

RUTH said...

Thanks Auntie Noo.
Yolande....would you believe me if I told you I didn't take anymore of course you wouldn't...LOL

RUTH said...

Shaz; yes just make sure that no side shoots grow out from the side but allow the main stem leaves to stay on the stem until you have formed the head. This helps the stem to thicken.

RUTH said...

Mark; that's one good thing about Leanne and Lynn catching the gardening bug as I can pass plants over to them. :o)

Libbys Blog said...

Lol! I did laugh when you said how few plants you where taking cutting of, I wonder how long that will last?????
That swimming pool looks lovely, the girls and I had been saying how nice it would be to have one like we used to!!!

Jeanette said...

Hi Ruth, Im back ive been a bit slow,still trying to get over this cough. good tips i love Fuchsia and never tryed to do a standard but maybe now i will,
well im of to read what ive missed.((((Hugs)))

Jo said...

What a timely post. I've just been looking at my Fuschia's and would like to take some cuttings (but I have never done this before). Mick and I were also given some money for our anniversary in July from my Mum and Dad, and I had thought about buying a Standard Fuschia with it. I might have a go at growing my own now and saving the money for someting else.


A wildlife gardener said...

Being bitten by the gardening bug is sooo infectious :)

Mauigirl said...

Great gardening information here. I need to have more time to get into my gardening. We recently cleared a whole area of our yard that used to have concrete over it (it was our former "patio" that was once a garage floor). Now I have a huge space to do whatever I want in, and I of course had to buy five books of garden plans for shady areas (since it's shady) to figure out what to plant!

A wildlife gardener said...

Ruth I remember someone alerted you to a bug of some sort recently which was in your computer...maybe a glitch or something. Well, whenever I comment in your blogs and then go back to my blog a glitch happens...and it's only when I come out of yours, because I've left a comment on two of your blogs today, just to check, and the same thing happened twice. Has any one else mentioned this? I have made comments on several blogs today and each time it's ok. Not sure why it should be yours. I'm no use at trouble-shooting.




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