If you want to get a clone of your favorite color then you need to propagate delphiniums by cuttings. Thankfully it is easy and fast, faster than seeds. I even include a video.
How to propagate delphiniums by cuttings shows you step by step how to take cuttings easily. Pot them up for more delphiniums fast, much faster than seeds.
In the past I have shared how I grow delphiniums from seed and now I want to share how I take cuttings. I did a video of taking cuttings this spring.
(ps: be sure to give your delphiniums the support they deserve, they grow tall)
When I Propagate Delphiniums with Cuttings
Spring is the best time to take your delphinium cuttings. When the new shoots are about 3 inches tall. I confess mine were a little taller but I was running behind, they shot up quickly, one day they were not tall enough then before I knew it they grew. I took them anyways and they are doing fine.
You can also take cuttings after the first summer flowering, after you cut the delphinium back and it starts to regrow but you will need a cool place to keep the cuttings, they prefer it on the cool side.
What I use to take cuttings is the same garden knife I use for so many other things, it is really a kitchen paring knife but it is a good size and weight for me. I have this knife on my list to get, it would be easier to find if I dropped it in the garden.
Find a likely candidate for cutting, I take the shorter, smaller side shoots when the Delphinium starts growing in Spring.
(to be honest, I should’ve pulled more of the soil back from around the shoot to be sure and get down to the brown base)
When taking cuttings, it is important to get right down to the base of the shoot and include some of the hard brown more callus material you find there. (in my video I show you what that looks like)
With my knife I try to get deep down and cut from the what I call the mother plant or base.
Sad to say I did not get any of the callus brown material from the base of the plant but I am going to pot this specimen up anyways. Be sure to watch the video, you can see what I mean on those cuttings about the brown base material. That supposedly aids in roots but I have had success with this part you see here too. (I am forever the gardening optimist)
I have a cup of water handy to put the cuttings into immediately then I head to the greenhouse and pot them up in recycled clear plastic cups. Rooting hormone helps them root faster but I did not have any readily at hand so I just plunged them in the soil mix. I have tons of pots I can put them in but I like to watch for the roots with these cups.
I use a mix of potting soil and sand, about 50/50 or so, if not garden sand then I use perlite.
Properly sanitized I can reuse these over and over, then they are easily tossed into the recycling bin. I use these for rose cuttings too. See my how to root rose cuttings for how I do that and how nice you can see the roots in these cups.
Important info on Temperature
Unlike other cuttings, delphiniums like it cool and humid. My greenhouse is too hot this time of year so I keep them under my back deck where the ground is still wet from winter and it stays shady and cool. (the wet ground keeps the humidity up in that area for a long time)
We should see roots in 3 to 4 weeks. At that point pot them up into their own pots, I use the tall 4 inch pots or 1 gallon pots.
You should be able to plant them in your garden in the cooler weather of Fall, they can get established before the real cold of winter hits.
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