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How to Root Perennial Flowers

By Melody Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017

Rooting perennial flowers is a simple and money-saving way to grow new plants for your garden. Most perennial flowers root quickly and easily from stem cuttings. In addition, rooted plants mature and produce flowers sooner than plants grown from seed. Rooting is usually done in the spring or summer, although some plants will also root in the fall.

Mix together equal parts of perlite and peat moss. Fill a planting tray or a 4- to 6-inch pot with the planting medium.

Choose a healthy side shoot on the parent plant. Use a sharp knife or hand pruners to cut a 4- to 6-inch long piece of stem just below the leaf node. Place the cuttings in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel to keep them fresh until you are ready to plant them.

Remove the leaves from the bottom 2/3 of the cutting with your fingers, or the knife or pruners. If the leaves are large, cut the remaining leaves in half to reduce moisture loss. Coat the bottom of the cutting with rooting hormone and insert the cutting into the planting medium in the tray or pot.

Repeat the process for each cutting. Several cuttings can be rooted in each tray or pot, depending on the size of the leaves on the cuttings and the size of the container.

Water the containers and use your fingers to firm the planting medium around each cutting. Set the cuttings in indirect light inside, or in a shady location outside.

Make a tent over the cuttings with clear plastic and small wooden stakes. Do not let the plastic touch the cuttings. Prop the tent up 1 to 2 inches every two or three days to allow excess moisture out.

Check the cuttings for roots when new growth appears. Gently pull a cutting out of the planting medium. If it has roots, transplant it to a 4- to 6-inch pot of potting soil. Keep it in a partly shady location and continue watering it until the new plant is big enough to plant in the garden or a larger container.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Tray or 4- to 6-inch pot
  • Knife or hand pruners
  • Plastic bag
  • Wet paper towel
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic
  • Small wooden stakes
  • Potting soil

Tip

  • Take cuttings in the morning while the stems are still full of water. Work quickly so the cuttings will not dry out.

About the Author

 

Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.