How to Grow Shrubs or Vines from Hardwood Cuttings

vintage illustrations of propagation by hardwood cuttings

A late season propagation method, hardwood cuttings can produce new plants in the most frugal way.

Hardwood cuttings come from fully mature stems, propagated while dormant.

Hardwood Cutting How-To

  • Clean the pruning shears to keep from spreading disease.
  • Cut stems from shrubs in fall after leaf drop, but before ground freezes.
  • Early in day take straight, long stems form healthy newer growth.Half inch diameter is best.
  • Pay attention to leaf nodes, there should be about four per stem for new plant.
  • Keep cutting right side up: bottom cut should be straight across, top cut should be angled
  • Using purchased plant hormone, or homemade willow water, dip growing end (straight cut) into hormone.
  • Using sand or poultry grit, plant cuttings in plastic flats or growing beds. Coldframes can be used. Otherwise, a sunny and sheltered spot -away from drying winds.

New Roses

Make Your Own Plant Hormone

  1. Cuttings of first-year twigs and stems of any of willow plant, those with green bark.
  2. Cut them up in pieces
  3. Add boiling water and make tea of them.
  4. Strain the twigs out, and use liquid right away or refrigerate up to 2 months.
  5. Let hardwood cuttings stand in jar of willow water for 12 hours or so before planting.


Plants To Try

Common / Latin


Ninebark, Physocarpus 

Mock Orange, Philadelphus 

Forsythia, Forsythia 

Deutzia, Deutzia

Abelia, Abelia

Butterfly Bush, Buddleia

Rose, Rosa

Weigela, Weigela


Honeysuckle, Lonicera

Boston Ivy, Parthenocussus tricuspidata

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia

New Trees or Shrubs