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How and when to take Semi-Ripe Cuttings from Plants.

Semi ripe cuttings are taken from garden plants - mainly shrubs, but also perennials - in early summer. They differ from softwood cutting in that they will be longer, and the stem will be more mature after 6 - 8 weeks of new season's growth.

Most of the procedure outlined in taking softwood cuttings should be adhered to.

  • Semi-ripe cuttings are normally taken from plants during the early to mid summer months. The main difference between them and softwood cuttings being that the stem wood will be more mature and not the soft sappy stem type of the softwood cuttings. They are generally easier to work with than the earlier softwood cuttings.
  • Take current season's growths - around 4-6in long - and firm at the base of the cutting. The cutting should have around 3-4 pair of full leaves - strip off any surplus carefully at the bottom of the cutting.
  • If the actual growing tip is very tender and soft, then it should be nipped off with most types of semi-ripe cuttings. Together with this, shrubs with large leaves can have their leaves cut in half to reduce water loss.


  • Wound the cutting at the base - by cutting a sliver of bark off with a sharp knife.
  • Apply rooting hormone with fungicide added.
  • Best to use shoots that have not flowered. Not always possible with some early flowering shrubs, so take care to remove any signs of flower buds or old flowers.
  • Insert the cutting into a 50/50 mix of all purpose compost and sharp sand or vermiculite. It will need to have around 2in (5cm) of stem inserted into the mix.
  • Water well in - with a fungicide solution to help combat any carried fungus spores or air carried spores.
  • Cover as for Softwood Cuttings and remove any dead or fallen leaves daily.
  • This type of cutting will root well if put in a cold frame - away from direct sunshine, but not dark.
  • Once rooted, the cutting should be fed fir a couple of weeks with a general liquid feed.
  • Pot up into single pots once the roots have well established, and new top growth is evident on your semi-ripe cutting.

Softwood Cuttings | Main Cuttings Page | Hardwood Cuttings






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