Now is the time to starting taking cuttings (or as we call them here ‘Slips’) from many of our favourite garden shrubs. These cuttings at this time of year go by the name ‘Semi-ripe’, this simply refers to the age of the growth on the plant - Softwood being the very fresh new growth, semi-ripe being this same growth as it ripens and then hardwood is this growth in the middle of the winter (or when it fully ripens).
Garden plants which should be the focus of your attention is shrubs like Lavender, Hebe, Rosemary and other plants which you might regard as being a bit ‘soft’, by this I mean plants which may not survive a cold winter. By building stocks of these plants now you can overwinter these small rooted cuttings in a coldframe of a protected area and hey presto you have ready made replacements if needed - or just loads of extra plants to add to your garden! - either way it’s a win win!
It’s not just these ‘soft plants’ you need to be thinking about, as this time of year is a great time to be taking slips from the vast majority of your garden shrubs, so plants such as Cotinus, Sambucus and the likes are ideal for propagating now too.
I’ve found great results when taking cuttings in just pure Vermiculite, not any compost or anything else just pots full of Vermiculite (Vermiculite is a natural volcanic rock finely ground and available in all good garden centres), just fill the pots you’re taking the cuttings in with just Vermiculite, these cuttings will root faster and have better root systems than cuttings taken in compost, in all the trials I’ve done.
In addition to the Vermiculite you’ll need some Rooting Powder or some home-made willow water to aid in the rooting process.