Softwood propagation of vines

• Make green cuttings from any vigorously growing shoot.
• Avoid shoots that have stopped growing and are starting to harden off and turn brown.
• Take cuttings as early as possible in the spring
• Cuttings should be 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, with two or three leaves.
• Remove all but the top leaf and cut that one in half if it is full size, but leave it alone if it is a young, undersized leaf .
• Dip the green cutting in a paste of rooting hormone
• Use a 3:1 perlite / potting compost mix
• Plant into a black plastic pot to encourage warmth in the root zone and cover with a clear plastic lid to maintain humidity .
• Spray regularly to keep up the humidity until healthy new growth appears, then start to remove plastic bag.

edit:
This summer, I took some softwood cuttings from my vines.

First up, I tried a test cutting with madeleine angevine roughly using the above technique. The cutting was about 8 inches long, from the growth tip of a new green shoot. I stripped all but a couple of small leaves. It worked, but was quite slow. The weather was very hot,and the plant suffered a bit, but it was proof of concept. With hindsight, I think the loose compost doesnt work to well in the early stage of root formation, while the new cutting is forming an embolism. Well oxygenated water is good for this.

Then I tried a cutting from a vine in a local park. I’ve had my eye on this vine for a few years- very ornamental leaves. I’ve never seen it fruit, however, probably because the park keepers hack it right down to the ground in late summer each year, so the poor thing never develops enough stored energy. I also never get to take a hardwood cutting. So I took a green wood stem cutting (8 inch, most leaves removed, base of cutting just below a leaf, slightly scratched) and plonked it straight into plastic milk bottle filled with rain water. This worked well- possibly faster than in the soil. The cutting now has roots and is potted up in perlite rich compost similar to the cutting compost above, and is sending out new growth.

Finally, I tried 3 air layered cuttings on the red wine variety “Rondo”. A leaf was taken from the stem about 8 inches from the growth tip, the area around the leaf scratched, and a pad of moist vermiculite rapped around the leaf scar, held in place by a few layers of clingfilm and then aluminum foil. A few week later, I took off the raps and didnt notice any roots, but did notice that the stems appeared rougher textured where the vermiculite had been. I then cut the stems from the plant and put them into a milk bottle of rain water. They’d carried on growing, so what was an 8″ cutting was now 16″, so I cut each in half, one having the previous air-layered bit, one without. They were all put into rain water to root. The 3 stems that had previously been air-layered showed massive embolism very quickly. The other stems showed less embolism, and later, but also rooted.

All the above green wood cloning were done early in the the season.

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