Potting Media for Cutting Propagation

Since I have learned how to do cutting propagation, I rarely buy plants in garden shops or nurseries. Cutting propagation is a cheap and easy way to obtain new plants. I have shown how to do cutting propagation in an earlier post – Plant Propagation from Cuttings – Coleus, and here, I would like to talk more about the rooting media of cutting propagation.

The Ingredients of Rooting Media

It is important to use a good sterile rooting media to get your plants off to a healthy start. While soil and compost are not good choices as the rooting media for cutting propagation since they may contain diseases, potting mix that is available in local gardening nurseries may also not be suitable for cuttings. Since it is not difficult to make rooting media for cuttings, we can just make our own as well.

A good rooting media contains equal parts of coarse, sharp sand and peat moss. Instead of sand, we can use perlite, and instead of peat moss, we can use vermiculite. However, I often will pot my cuttings with just coarse sand alone. By this method, the cuttings grow just fine. Indeed, since coarse sand cannot retain much moist, cuttings in this environment often grow very fine root systems in the attempt to seek more water. And if handled properly, the cuttings will be ready to transplant into soil and start to grow promptly. In addition, since coarse sand cannot retain much moist, the loss from damping-off is minimized.

cutting-propagation-figThis fig cutting has been potted in coarse sand for about 6 weeks time.  See all the fine roots that it has developed.

cutting-propagation-fig cutting-propagation-fig

These are all fig cuttings that I have potted into individual pots from a growing bed.  In case you wonder, these cuttings are not for myself, but for the students in Teacher Wong’s gardening class 🙂