One of the most inexpensive and effective ways of propagating new trees is from cuttings. Bonsai growers love using cuttings because it reduces the amount of time needed to grow your tree. It takes about a year to get a seedling when you decide to cultivate a bonsai from seeds.
Many bonsai cultivators also use cutting since you get to pick the characteristics that you need. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at bonsai cutting, including when to grow from cuttings, how to harvest cuttings, and growing bonsai cuttings.
When to Grow Bonsai from Cuttings
Summer and spring are the best times to plant cuttings. However, some hardwood trees can be cut off and prepared after the growth season. Late summer is an ideal time when dealing with numerous types of trees.
Generally, a cutting is a piece of stem or branch that is cut from an existing plant and stuck into a growing medium. Now that you understand when to grow from cuttings, you need to understand the benefits of growing from cuttings.
Benefits of Using Cuttings to Grow Bonsai
When you use cuttings, the roots usually emerge from the same level and move outwards evenly. You, therefore, get a massive advantage since you get to have great surface roots. The rooting system is essential when it comes to bonsai cultivation.
Your bonsai will have identical characteristics to the ‘mother plant’ where you obtained the cutting. You, therefore, get to choose the kind of features that you need.
Some plants take years to flower when they are cultivated from the seed. In such cases, however, getting cuttings from a flowering specimen will ensure that your bonsai begins flowering almost immediately.
Using cuttings is budget-friendly since you only need to get a medium and rooting hormone. On the other hand, growing from seeds can be rather expensive since you need pots and tools.
How to Harvest Bonsai Cuttings
Harvesting bonsai cuttings is not as difficult as it sounds. It will help if you start by identifying the plant that you want for whatever reason. If, for example, you want a hardwood cutting during autumn, then you need to begin by removing the leaves.
Proceed to cut the selected twig or branch close to the buds in sections of about 12 cm in length. Use a sharp scissor to get you a clean cut that won’t damage the cambium tissues. Place your cuttings in water and keep them moist during the entire process.
Growing Bonsai Cuttings
Step 1: Apply a coarse layer like grit or lava rock
In your pot, pour a layer of draining substrates such as grit or lava rock. Doing this will ensure that your bonsai has a proper drainage system, which is essential in root development.
Step 2: Add bonsai soil
You can then proceed to add bonsai soil to your planting pot. Do not fill up your container with bonsai soil, but rather leave a little bit of space at the top.
Step 3: Dip your cutting in rooting hormone
Take your cutting and dip it in a rooting hormone. You could either use a powder or liquid rooting hormone, depending on your preference.
Step 4: Planting
Push a stick into your already prepared medium to create a hole. You can then proceed to insert your cutting into the hole. Mold the potting medium around your cutting. Merely shoving the cutting into your prepared soil is not ideal, since you may end up removing most of the rooting hormone.
Step 5: Watering
You need to water the cutting frequently, keeping the medium moist. Soon enough, you will notice new leaves emerging. The new roots cannot withstand dryness, making watering essential.
Using cutting to cultivate bonsai ensures that you get all the characteristics that you need. However, do not introduce your cutting to the medium immediately after watering. The water may wash away most of the rooting hormone, which is not ideal. Proper drainage is also essential because you don’t want your roots to start rotting before your plant starts emerging. Finally, you should understand that bonsai cultivation requires a lot of patience.