How to grow manuka trees from cuttings Part 2

manuka cuttings in a tray

manuka cuttings in a tray

The cuttings I made in last week's post about Growing Manuka from Cuttings didn't go at all well. 

So I had a bit of a think about how I did them last time. And did some research. Then decided to try another experiment.

So, what did I learn? And how can you do cuttings more successfully?

Autumn v Spring Cuttings

There are 2 different conditions in autumn and spring. 

In spring the trees are just starting to grow after the winter dormant period. The new growth shows as soft new tips.

soft new growth tips on spring manuka

soft new growth tips on spring manuka

These tips are called softwood cuttings. They are quite delicate and tender. But they are also primed for new growth.

Summer and autumn cuttings, on the other hand, are hardier - the wood is harder, the tips are less soft. Summer and autumn is still a good time to take cuttings though, as the tree is still growing, and the tips will still develop good root systems.

How to take cuttings of manuka in spring

But, the way I did the cuttings in last week's experiment was the autumn way. For spring a more delicate touch is required.

So, how to do it?

The answer is to take VERY SMALL cuttings. Ideally about 3-4 nodes long. Manuka has very fine and small leaves, so this ended up being about 3cm long (an inch), and even then it was way more than 4 nodes.

tiny spring cuttings of manuka

tiny spring cuttings of manuka

Then I dipped them in rooting hormone, same as previously.

This time I'm keeping the cuttings inside, away from all the spring rains. 

Other hazards inside though - a seed raising tray is awfully similar to a litter box. So a cat protection device is required too:

cuttings protection from cats

cuttings protection from cats

Well, that seems to work! They look excellent under the cover.

In a few weeks when they have rooted I'll pull a couple up and take some photos, and let you know when to pot them up. How can you tell when they are ready? More soon...