Take semi-ripe cuttings of evergreens

It's easy to get more of your favourites for free.

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Got a favourite evergreen that you’d like to make more of and use elsewhere in the garden? Well now’s the perfect time to take semi-ripe (or semi-hardwood) cuttings taken from this season’s new stem growth, which will root nice and easily taken now. Often evergreens are expensive to buy in the shops, and are usually only available as pricey well-grown specimens, so easy cuttings taken now will cost you nothing at all!

Most types of cuttings taken now are semi-ripe – before July you’re taking softwood cuttings, and after about October the plant has matured and hardened, and you take hardwood cuttings. There are different types of semi-ripe cutting, including basal and mallet cuttings (this last type uses the leaves with a small piece of stem at the end), but the basic method is all you need for many of your evergreen plants.

Ensure you select healthy, fresh, undamaged stems that have good, even growth and clean leaves. The base of the cutting should be harder and the tops soft and fresh. Take at least four cuttings, keep them moist at all times and be on the look out for any that have failed – remove these to allow viable ones to flourish. Here’s how to take choisya cuttings – though it’s the same for many evergreens.