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The best way to propagate choisya is by taking semi-hardwood cutting. The best time to take cuttings from choisya’s is around the end of summer. Wait for the new growth on the plant to become firm at the base and still flexible at the top. This softwood is where you take your cuttings from.
Water the choisya plant the day before so that it’s well hydrated.
As always when taking cuttings, prepare everything ahead of time. First of all, wipe down all the garden tools you plan to use with alcohol wipes or a dilute mixture of bleach and water. Keeping your tools sanitised stops them from picking up any diseases or spores from the plant and spreading them to other branches or even other plants.
Next, clean the pots into which you plan on putting the cuttings. Make sure that they have enough drainage holes in the bottom; if not, make a few more. This is obviously easier if you’re using plastic pots.
Put together a mix of ½ grit and ½ potting compost. Choisya prefer a neutral soil, but it’s not too fussy so a multi purpose compost is also suitable or a john innes seed and cutting compost. Put the soil mixture in the pots and make a small hole where you will insert the cutting, I usually just make the hole when inserting the cuttings I have taken.
How to take cuttings from choisya
Find the new growth/softwood on your choisya and make a cut with your secateurs or knife at a 45° angle near the base of the stem.
I like to take all my cuttings in one go and place them in a plastic bag with a little water in it.
Cut off the tip of the stem and cut the stem down to 10cm to 15cm long. Make this cut just above a leaf node on the stem. Remove any lower leaves. You should have about 3 to 4 leaves left on the stem towards the top of each cutting.
Dip the cutting into hormone rooting powder. This encourages fast root growth.
Potting the choisya cuttings
Place each cutting into a prepared pot. I like to use 3 cuttings per pot, usually a 9cm pot and place them around the edge of the pot. Pat down the soil so that the cutting stands upright.
Water the pot well and allow the excess water to drain out. You can also stand the pots in a tray of water and let them soak up the water.
Now they the cuttings are planted, you need to keep the pots warm. Put them in a heated greenhouse or cover them with plastic wrap and place them in a warm place in your home on a windowsill but out of direct sunlight.
Keep the compost moist but always drain out excess moisture, if you seal the top of the pot with a bag let it air every few days.
Throw out any cuttings that become diseased or die as they can pass on the disease to other cuttings.
Harden off the cuttings before you transplant them outdoors or pot them up. I like to place them outdoors once the risk of frost has passed.