Can alyssum grow from cuttings?

Answered by Tom Adger

Alyssum can indeed be grown from cuttings. This method of propagation is particularly useful for older plants that may have become leggy or overgrown. By taking cuttings, you can rejuvenate the plant and create new, healthy specimens.

To start, it is best to take cuttings from the alyssum plant after it has finished flowering. This is typically in late spring or early summer, depending on your location. Choose healthy stems that are not too woody or too soft. Aim for stems that are about 4-6 inches in length.

To prepare the cuttings, remove the lower leaves, leaving only a few leaves at the top. This helps to reduce moisture loss and encourages root development. You can do this by gently pinching or snipping off the leaves with clean scissors or pruners.

Next, fill a small pot or container with a well-draining potting mix. You can use a mixture of equal parts peat moss and perlite or vermiculite. Make a hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil and insert the cutting, ensuring that the leaves are above the soil line.

Once the cuttings are planted, water them thoroughly to ensure good contact between the soil and the stems. Place the pot in a warm, bright location, but avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the cuttings. A greenhouse or a sunny windowsill can be ideal.

To encourage root growth, you can also use a rooting hormone powder or gel. Simply dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone before planting it in the potting mix. This can help speed up the rooting process and increase the chances of success.

Keep the soil consistently moist but not overly wet, as excessive moisture can lead to rot. Mist the cuttings with water regularly to maintain humidity around them. Within a few weeks, you should start to see new growth emerging from the top of the stems, indicating that the cuttings have successfully rooted.

After the cuttings have established roots and grown a bit, you can transplant them into individual pots or directly into the garden. Be sure to harden them off gradually by exposing them to outdoor conditions for a few hours each day before planting them in their permanent location.

Alyssum can be grown from cuttings by taking stem cuttings from healthy plants after they have finished flowering. Remove the lower leaves, plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix, and provide adequate moisture and light. With proper care, the cuttings should root and grow into new alyssum plants.