When Should You Start to Propagate Plants?

If you are an experienced green thumb or simply like the idea of creating new plants from exiting ones to freshen up your garden, propagating plants is a relatively easy process that can be done all year round. In winter, many gardeners like to take clippings of tender annuals and root them indoors to give them a great supply of new plants for garden planting in the spring. For landscape supplies, Mornington Peninsula residents can rely on Bittern Garden Supplies for rock, pebbles, mulch, sand and soil for gardening and landscaping projects of any type. Read on to learn more about plant propagation and why winter is a great time to give it a go.

What is Plant Propagation?

This is simply the technique of creating new plants from existing plants, however, this can be done in several ways including cutting, division, budding, and grafting. Cutting is the most popular as it presents the lowest risk to the parent plant.


Parts of plants removed from a plant and rooted to form new plants are called cuttings.

Cuttings can be classified according to the nature of the material removed:

  • Softwood – refers to new growth in the current season
  • Semi-Hardwood – succulent but partially matured tissue from the current season’s growth
  • Hardwood – taken from woody plants during dormancy in late autumn or early winter

Softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings rely on photosynthesis for energy, while hardwood cuttings do not require sunlight. Instead, they get their energy from the woody stem.

Not all species of plants can be propagated from cuttings, so before you start it’s a good idea to seek advice from a local nursery or centre for garden supplies. Hastings locals can rely on our team for high-quality landscaping products, genuine advice, and highly competitive prices. Visit us and speak to our friendly staff today.

When to Take Plant Cuttings

Spring – the ideal time for softwood cuttings from many plants, perennials, shrubs, and vines. These young cuttings are eager to root but are high-risk for drying out if they don’t receive the proper care.

Summer – perfect for semi-ripe cuttings, where the base of the shoots are maturing but the tips are nimble.

Autumn and Winter – best for hardwood cuttings. These can be slow to root but are more stable than tender young cuttings.

Winter Propagating

Winter is a great time to propagate hardwood cuttings taken from deciduous trees, shrubs, and fruit trees such as apricots, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, and peaches. When propagating in the colder months, cuttings will need protection from the elements and some moisture. Wherever you choose to keep your cuttings, whether in an enclosed porch or on a kitchen windowsill, the area should be well-lit, frost free, well-ventilated, and offer wind protection. It is also possible to set the cuttings in a bed of soil outdoors, however there is the risk of the cutting drying out due to cold winds and frost. Whichever media you use – regular soil, potting soil, or a mix of perlite and peat moss – it should be kept lightly moist. Roots may take between 2-4 months to develop, but it’s a great way to get free plants from winter pruning and have new plants for spring landscaping.

Located in Hastings? Garden Supplies for Your Next Project Can All Be Found at Bittern Garden Supplies

Servicing the Mornington Peninsula region for over 15 years, we strive to provide friendly and reliable service, competitive prices and a comprehensive range of high-quality landscaping products including crushed rock, toppings and dust, sand and soil, mulch, and firewood. To find out more or to place an order, contact us online or give our team a call today on 5983 9779.