Hi everyone, I’m Dave and in this video I’m going to show you a foolproof way to successfully root your cuttings. Let’s jump right in and get started! I have a bunch of cuttings that I took a year ago right here on the patio. I’m going to show you how to turn these cuttings into thriving new plants.
Growing from cuttings
Bonsai cuttings are amazing additions to any garden, and can be a great way to show off your gardening skills. If you’re new to bonsai, or just looking for a fun and easy way to add some foliage to your garden, taking cuttings from your plants is a great way to get started.
To take a bonsai cuttings, first make sure that the plant is healthy and in good condition. You’ll need a cutting that is at least 3 inches long, and the stem should be clean and free from disease or pests.
To take the cutting, first make a small incision in the stem near the base. Be sure to cut just below the surface of the bark, and avoid cutting into the wood.
Next, gently pull the stem out of the plant. Be sure to hold on to the end of the stem, so that you don’t lose the cutting.
Finally, transfer the cutting to a pot of fresh soil, and water it well. If you plan to grow the bonsai indoors, be sure to give it a light spritz of water every week or so.
From cutting to Bonsai
Rooting cuttings is a great way to expand your bonsai collection without having to buy more plants. With a little patience and the right technique, you can easily propagate new bonsai from cuttings of different species. Some of the most popular species for rooting are Ficus, Juniper, Maples, Azalea, and many more.
All of these can be rooted from cuttings and grown out for a few years before being trained as bonsai. You just need to follow the right steps to ensure success. Before you start, make sure you trim the cuttings in the right way. Remove any leaves and buds, and make sure the cutting is free of any disease or pests.
Then, you can use a root hormone to speed up the rooting process and create a better environment for the new roots to form. Once the cuttings have rooted, you can pot them up and grow them out until they are ready to be trained as bonsai. With a little care and attention, you can easily propagate and grow beautiful bonsai from cuttings.
If it flashes up too quickly, you can always pause the video. If you don’t see your tree on the list, then please leave a comment below and tell me about it. It is also important to note that some species are very challenging or nearly impossible to root from their cuttings. If you’ve tried and failed with a species that you don’t see on either of these lists today, please let me know in the comments.
Practice Proper Bonsai Aftercare
One more thing before we get started: regardless of the species that you’re trying to root there’s a lot greater chance of successful rooting if you take the cutting in spring or summer. I have actually succeeded on evergreen broadleaf trees early winter in fact, but generally speaking there’s much more chance of success in spring and summer.
What I’ve got here is all of my cuttings that I want to pot and what we’re going to do is pop each one of them into these clear yogurt pots. You can see the lines on the outside which is very very convenient because when they start growing roots outwards, the roots hit the edge edge and they always just go straight down.
I’m really pleased with the results from using this method. By using a skewer to make 8-10 holes in the bottom of the pot, it prevents the roots from going in circles. This helps the plants to develop a strong, healthy root system.
Let’s start preparing the first pot of soil. I’m getting my soil mix and wetting it slightly, as you can see a little bit of dust is present. Now, I’m going to prepare the base and place the soil in the pot.
To start with, I’m going to use a sharp knife to make a clean cut around the circumference of the branch. I’m cutting about 1 cm deep and 1 mm into the bark. This will help to create a strong base for our cutting and allow us to better understand the inner workings of the branch. Once the cut is made, I’m going to carefully remove the bark and inspect the cambium layer beneath. This layer is where new growth will emerge and will help to determine the success of our cutting.
Clearly, we all know the outer layer of a tree already – the bark. Just beneath the bark lies the phloem layer, made up of tiny vascular tubes. These tubes transport the photosynthesized sugars from the leaves down the trunk towards the roots. Inside the phloem layer, lies the xylem, which is responsible for transporting water and stored sap up towards the branches and leaves.
Now we often talk about the cambium layer as the entire green layer, but to be more precise, the cambium is actually just the inner xylem. Within this xylem, we have the sapwood, which is composed of dying xylem cells, but still serves the purpose of transporting water to the branches and leaves.
Why does it seem so hard to grow a Bonsai tree from cuttings?
If you want to get the best results, you should also make sure that you clean the cut end of the stem with a 10% bleach solution and then let it dry.
The best way to strip a tree is to start from the bottom and work your way up. Take a hedge trimmer or a hand saw and cut off the bottom of the tree about 6 inches above the ground. Next, use a pole saw to cut off the remaining limbs about 18 inches above the ground. Finally, use a chipper or a hand saw to cut the tree into small pieces.
The green cambium layer is still going to try and grow as if it were a normal branch so we want to stop that and try and make the line go all the way around in one circle around. There we go, so no more green showing there; make sure it’s all off.
How long do Bonsai cuttings take the root?
After six weeks, I will come back and I will do a little bit of weeding around the edges, and I will water it in.
You can see that I have a bit of a groove in it. That’s because the saw has been pressure-fed into the wood and the wood is still flexible. So the saw doesn’t actually cut all the way through the wood. It just creates this groove. So if you’re doing a lot of cutting, you want to do it in a groove.
Let’s give our seedlings a bit of a spritz to ensure they stay nice and moist. I have some rooting hormone here, so I’m going to add just a single drop of it to the water. That’s all, such a tiny amount!
I’m going to take it out of the incubator after about a week and a half because I want to see if it’s really staying wet and if it is, then I’ll add some more water to it and if it’s not staying wet, then I’ll take it out and add more water to it.
After you’ve done the same with the other side, move the tree to a location where it will be in direct sunlight. Make sure the tree is positioned so that it is facing south.
You want to make sure that while you’re trying to grow roots from these cuttings, they have as many leaves as possible. The leaves are what allow the light energy to travel down the trunks or cuttings, which in turn helps the roots to form. Once the roots have developed, then you can prune the leaves. Now you have eight cuttings all potted and ready to grow!
Now I’m going to place my cuttings in these plant propagators which are the ideal choice for here in Madrid. The air here is incredibly dry, but the propagators will help keep the humidity levels nice and high. As you can see, I’ve already put in a few cuttings I took earlier in the year, including a deshojo maple and a bit of azalea.
When you come to this incubator you will see four seedlings which are loquats also called medlars. They’re delicious fruits and I planted six, and four have taken. I’m really looking forward to those in the future.