Subshrubs

Some woody, low-growing plants, such as Salvia, that are often treated .is herbaceous plants are called sub-shrubs. Most of them root readily and can easily be propagated from stem cuttings taken in late summer.

Prune the parent plant during the dormant season to encourage strong, vigorous shoots to develop.

Prepare the soil in a cold frame by digging deeply. Add grit if necessary to ensure it is free draining.

Cut off some shoots with all their current season's growth in late summer (usually early

September). Select non-flowering shoots if possible, although with many plants, such as lavender, these may be difficult to find. If flowering shoots have to be used then cut back the flower and its stem to the leafy part.

Cut out any soft growing tip with a sharp knife or pinch it out between the thumb and forefinger. Make the basal cut with secateurs about 4 in below the top of the cutting. A quick and easy way to measure 4 in is to hold the stem in the palm of an adult's hand. The stem will be approximately 4 in long where it reaches the butt of the hand.

1 Prune the parent plant during the dormant season to encourage strong shoots.

2 Prepare the soil in a cold frame by digging deeply. Add grit if necessary.

3 Collect a non-flowering shoot in late summer. Cut out any soft growing tip.

7 Make a hole and plant about half the cutting in the prepared soil.

8 Plant the other cuttings about 4 in apart. Label and water with a fungicide.

9 Seal the cold frame and shade it until the light intensity decreases.

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Strip the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, either by pulling very carefully or by cutting with a sharp knife.

Dip the base of the cutting into a rooting hormone powder, preferably of a semi-ripewood strength (0.4-0.5 per cent iba).

With a dibber make a hole in the prepared soil about half the length of the cutting, that is about 2 in deep. Firm the soil around the cutting. Leave about 4 in between each cutting and about 4 in between each row.

Label the cuttings clearly. Using a watering can with a cearse rose, apply a dilute fungi cidal solution of Captan or Benlate over the Cuttings to protect them against disease.

Seal the cold frame and shade it to avoid scorching. Check the cuttings regularly; water when necessary to prevent them drying out. Remove the shading on the cold frame and reduce watering as soon as light intensity decreases. Insulate the cuttings against frost by laying some matting over the cold frame. Remove this during the day, if possible.

Harden off the rooted cuttings gradually in spring. Then lift and transplant to their final position in the garden. Label them clearly.

4 Make a basal cut with secateurs about 4 in from the top of the cutting.

5 Trim the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.

6 Treat the bottom of the cutting with a rooting hormone powder.

10 Lay some matting over the frame to insulate the cuttings against frost.

11 Harden off the rooted cuttings gradually in spring.

12 Lift and transplant them once they are accustomed to the climate. Label them.

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