Propagation is a very interesting and useful process. Without spending money you can get many new plants to make the garden even more beautiful.
Heuchera can be propagated by cuttings and this is the easiest way. Cut off the top of a bush at least 2 inches long in late spring and plunge the cuttings into a sterile and moist substrate. Then move it to full shade, in a few weeks the roots will appear.
Read on to learn more about how to propagate this plant with cuttings. Also, be sure to check out the article How to look after Heuchera properly.
When to take cuttings?
The best time to take cuttings is in late spring or early summer. This is when heuchera has already recovered from the winter and has even grown new leaves. The cuttings will be succulent and will quickly take root.
In addition, the cuttings will have a whole season to develop not only a root system but also to become a bush. By the end of the year, you will have a full-grown plant.
Also, the wounds on the mother plant will have time to heal by winter.
Do not take cuttings in the middle of summer especially if there is strong heat. At this time the plant has less water in its tissues and the rooting process can be difficult.
Cuttings in the fall can also be problematic because it may already be cold at this time and the cuttings simply do not have time to develop a complete root system.
How to take cuttings?
Wait until the heuchera stem is at least 3 inches long before taking cuttings. Cut off the top part of the stem at least 1.5 inches long. Make the cut parallel to the ground using sharp scissors. You will simply shorten the heuchera.
The part with the roots will eventually overgrow the wounds and grow new leaves. In a month or two you won’t even notice that the bush has been shortened.
The second part will be great cuttings for a new plant.
Usually, one good quality cuttings will come out of one bush. Sometimes the stem can branch out and you can get 2-3 cuttings.
What you should not do is take cuttings that are less than 1 inch long. Such cuttings will take much longer to root and will not produce a complete plant until at least 2 years later.
Do not remove the leaves from the cuttings because the leaves stimulate the emergence of roots. Only remove dead or damaged leaves.
How to propagate?
Prepare a pot at least 4-6 inches wide and deep with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill it with the clean and slightly moist seedling substrate. Quality substrate plays an important role in cuttings. If you use dirty soil, the cuttings may begin to rot.
Take some activated charcoal tablets and crush them. Powder the wounds on the cuttings with it. This is to prevent rotting. Wood ash also works well.
Plunge the cuttings into a pot of soil at least an inch deep. Lightly press the soil so that the cuttings do not fall out of the pot. Water the cuttings with a little water.
Move the pot to full shade. It will also be an advantage if the spot is slightly humid. A shaded greenhouse would be ideal for rooting.
How long do Heuchera cuttings take to root?
In 2-4 weeks the first roots will appear on the cuttings, but they will be very thin so they should not be disturbed.
It will take the whole season to form a complete root system. For this reason, I recommended using pots at least 4-6 inches across. In such pots, the plant will have enough room for the whole year and you won’t have to transplant it.
At the end of the year, check the size of the root system. This can be done by carefully removing the heuchera from the pot or by looking through the drainage holes for new roots.
If the root system is the size of the pot, you can transplant the bush to a garden or larger container.
Sometimes the roots may be too small in the first year. In this case, leave the cuttings in the same pot for another year. This often happens if the cuttings used are very small and weak.
For the first few months, you need to keep a close eye on the cuttings. Don’t let the soil in the pots dry out more than 1 inch. Use a small amount of water when watering.
The first year the cuttings should be in the full shade even if the mother plant is capable of growing in full sun. If there is 60-70% humidity, the result will be better.
In the second month, you can water the cuttings with liquid fertilizer. Use a multi-purpose fertilizer. Make the solution half as weak as the manufacturer recommends. Repeat the watering after a few weeks.
If done correctly, the cuttings will have roots by fall and can be transplanted into the ground. But it is better to wait until next spring and only then transplant.
Read more: How To Propagate Coral Bells?