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Last updated on January 21st, 2020
Taking semi-hardwood cutting from passion flowers is the easiest way to propagate from plants you already have without any special skills or equipment. You can also take softwood cutting a little earlier but we recommend waiting a little longer and taking semi-hardwood cutting instead.
When to take passion flower cuttings
Semi-ripe cuttings are taken from the current season’s growth and they should be taken at such a time that the base of the cutting remains hard but the chip remains soft. This is where the semi-ripe cutting gets its name. This particular type of cutting is often available at the end of summer all the way through the middle of autumn.
When taking your cutting you should avoid any damage or otherwise unhealthy parts of the plant and only stick to those shoots that have the appropriate gaps between the leaves. If you take a cutting before the middle of summer, it is considered a softwood cutting because the entire thing will be incredibly flexible and soft. By comparison, if you take one after the middle of autumn when the entire shoot is hard that is considered a hardwood cutting. With passion flower, you want to hit this middle spot right in between the two.
How to take cuttings
Once you find a piece of healthy stem that has no damage, no pest, and no diseases, you want to take clean, sharp pruning secateurs or scissors that have been properly sanitised and use them to take the cutting.
You should take the cutting in the morning so that it doesn’t wilt. The basic type of cutting requires you to select a piece of approximately 10 or 15cm in length and then cut just below a leaf.
Once you have the cutting put it in a plastic bag right away and keep that bag somewhere shaded or in your refrigerator until you are ready to put it in the pot. You should aim to place your cuttings directly into a pot within at least 12 hours of taking them but there know better time than straight away.
Prepare your cuttings when you are ready to place them in the pots of cutting compost mixed with 50% grit for improved drainage by trimming them so that all of the lowest set of leaves are removed. There should be approximately four leaves remaining. Take the opposite end and dip it in fresh, hormone rooting powder to help the root system to establish itself and to thwart any root rot.
When you are ready, insert the cuttings into an appropriately-sized container or small pots. Water it thoroughly and allow the water to drain it just as thoroughly so that the entirety of the pot is moist. You can place your cuttings in a greenhouse or simply cover them with a plastic bag and put them someplace with warm, indirect sunlight. The goal here is to keep the compost damp without remaining too moist. You may have better results and get them to root sooner by using a heated propagator where you can also control the air flower and have consistent bottom heat, ideally you want to set the heated propagator to around 18-24C (64-75F) if possible.
Once the root system is established, something you can test by giving a gentle tug and finding the resistance, you can transplant them into even larger containers until it is time to move them to their permanent home.