Take evergreen cuttings

Provide them with a little base heat and you’ll soon have more free plants.

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If you have a heated propagator that provides gentle base heat, now is a good time to take cuttings from several types of evergreens such as holly, euonymus, senecio, hebe and Viburnum tinus. These are all good, reliable garden shrubs that have attractive foliage and flowers at various times of the year, and they are great for adding structure to the garden. Cuttings can be taken from now until around the end of February and with all of them you take them as nodal cuttings. The length of the cuttings will vary depending on the size and vigour of the stems, but ideally aim to produce cuttings around 7.5cm (3in) long.

Select last season’s growth using the tips of healthy shoots and insert them into a rooting mix of multipurpose compost and perlite or vermiculite. This mix will retain moisture around the cuttings, but also allow drainage and air movement. To root, the cuttings will need base heat from a propagator, but it doesn’t matter if the tops of the cuttings are cold. If stood on a sand bed with soil warming cables or in a propagator in a greenhouse the base of the cuttings will get enough heat. The foliage can be misted regularly or covered with thin polythene to retain humidity. In the correct conditions roots develop in around eight weeks.