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Hardwood Cuttings with Dan Hinkley

Martha Stewart Living Television

One shrub can easily become twenty just by propagating hardwood cuttings. Dan Hinkley, author of "The Explorer's Garden," joins Martha to explain how easy it is to propagate your own hardwood cuttings.

Hardwood cuttings are cuttings taken from shrubs and trees, such as yellow- and red-stem dogwood, forsythia, willows, and viburnum, during their dormant stage (late fall to late winter). To propagate a deciduous plant, cut a 6-inch (or longer) piece of stem, just below the node at a 30-degree angle. A cutting of a broad-leaf evergreen doesn't need to be as long, about 4 to 5 inches. Treat the bottom of the cutting with either a liquid or powder-rooting hormone. Be careful to only apply it to the bottom, because too much on the sides of the stem can inhibit growth. Insert the cuttings into a deep tray of a soilless mix of peat and perlite. (Broad-leaf cuttings should be inserted up to the first set of leaves; deciduous shrubs and trees should be inserted almost all the way.) Water the cuttings, and label with plant markers. Put the tray in a cold frame or on the north side of the home. In Zones 3 to 6, sink the tray into soil up to the rim, and backfill so that the top of the tray is level with the soil. In the summer, move the tray to full sun, keep moist, and fertilize.

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