In his instalment of Star2’s monthly gardening column, Ready, Set, Grow!, we share instructions from social enterprise Eats, Shoots & Roots on how to grow vegetables from cuttings.
> Sharp scissors or shears
> Container or pots with holes
> Good potting soil
1 Pick a strong stem with mature leaves; it should not be soft or “wobbly”
Count five nodules up the stem, and then make a cut.
2 Snip off all of its leaves
This is to ensure the plant focuses on growing roots instead of trying to sustain leaves. Don’t worry! The leaves will regrow from the nodules once roots have grown.
3 Planting, option A
Place the stem into a container with water; make sure the water covers at least two nodules on the stem. After one to two weeks, the cuttings will have rooted, and you can then transplant the stem into the ground or a pot with soil. Change the water daily to avoid it getting murky. Use this method for soft herbaceous cuttings like basil, mint, or sweet potato leaf.
Tip: You can place one to three cuttings together, just make sure to space them about two inches apart.
3 Planting, option B
Plant the stem in a hole in soil; make sure at least two nodules are covered by soil and that the bud above the node is facing up. Pat the soil around it to secure it upright. Keep well watered and it will start to root after one to two weeks. Use this method for hardwood cuttings like mulberry.
4 Plants that are easy to propagate with cuttings
Daun kadok, daun kesom, holy basil, Indian borage, laksa leaf, mint, moringa, mulberry, sweet basil, sweet potato leaf, Thai basil, water spinach.
Star2’s monthly gardening column, Ready, Set, Grow! is brought to you by Eats, Shoots & Roots, the social enterprise that champions urban edible gardening. For more information, go to eatsshootsandroots.com or facebook.com/eatsshootsandroots or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.