Softwood cuttings: Propagating Tender Perennials in late summer/early autumn

Tender perennials such as Fuchsia, Salvia, Pelargonium can be propagated by cuttings.  These plants can become woody and less vigorous with age and should be replaced with younger plants periodically, and this is a cheap way to do it.

Take semi-ripe cuttings from late summer to early autumn when the current season’s stems are hardening at the base, about 4 to 6 inches long.  Choose non-flowering shoots and trim cuttings below a node.  Remove lower leaves to reduce water loss. Pinch out the soft growing tip and dip the base of the cutting into rooting powder.  Insert into free draining vermiculite, sand and seed soil.  Store with a clear plastic bag to retain humidity and site out of direct sunlight until rooted.  Heated propagator kits help with this.