How to take semi-ripe cuttings

How to…

Use this guide to take easy cuttings of many common plants including evergreens, herbs and tender perennials.

  • Estimated time: 15 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed


Ensure your students are competent using secateurs or gardening knives. If they aren't scissors can be used on softer plant material. 

  1. Gather the plant material from the garden. Take the tips where the plant material is bendy but not too soft.

  2. Cut the plant material to size, in general the cutting will need to have at least four leaves (2 pairs) at the top. DO NOT remove the tip.

  3. Next remove the leaves at the bottom of the cutting and cut below a node (this is where you removed the leaves). This may have left a scar.

  4. Check that the pot or tray is the correct size for the job.

  5. Fill the tray with compost and firm down with a 'presser board' or another tray, until it is 1cm from the top. The compost needs to be level.

  6. Make a hole with a dibber or pencil and insert the cutting into it. Check none of the leaves are touching or buried in the compost. Label your cutting and water it in.

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