One of the most satisfying things about growing any plant is being able to multiply them easily and, most of all, quite cheaply, and fuchsias definitely fall into that category. There are plenty of fuchsia books and web sites telling you how to take cuttings and the basic method shown on this page is the way I take cuttings, as do many other fuchsia growers. It works for me.
Revised July 2011
First,   gather   together   all   the   things   you   will   need. A   good      sharp   knife   is   needed   as   the   cut   you   are   going   to   make   must   be   clean   and   not   ragged.   a   clean cut leads to quicker healing and root development. Rooting   medium   of   the   right   sort   is   essential.   Fuchsias   will   root   in   almost   anything,   even   water,   but   this   is   not   ideal   as   the   cutting   will   form   water   roots which   are   brittle   and   will   easily   break   when   you   try   and   pot   them   on   into   compost.   Also   the   cutting   will   suffer   a   check   (stop   growing)   whilst   the   proper feeding roots develop. An   ideal   rooting   medium   is   one   made   up   of   50%   perlite   or   vermiculite   mixed   with   50%   ordinary   potting   compost   which   has   been   put   through   a   ¼"   sieve. This medium must be moist enough to the point that it holds it shape if squeezed in the hand, but not so wet that water runs from it. Labels and pens. Don't think you will remember which cutting is which. You won't. A   good   clean   healthy   plant   is   the   most   important   of   all.   It's   no   good   hoping   you   can   rescue   one   or   two   cuttings   from   a   pest   or   diseased   ridden   plant   which is   about   to   go   in   the   bin.   Your   cuttings   will   soon   follow   it.   Give   it   a   good   water   the   day   before   you   take   cuttings   so   that   they   will   be   as   fresh   as   possible. A cutting will have to survive for at least 21 days (in the right conditions) without any roots, so it needs the best start you can give it. Have everything ready and to hand. The sooner you get your cutting settled into it's new environment, the better.
The   best   time   to   take   cuttings   is   from   late   September   through   to   late   Spring   when   all   fuchsias   want   to   do   is   put   on   new growth.   Obviously,   cutting   material   in   the   middle   of   Winter   is   restricted   to   those   who   have   a   heated   greenhouse.      Once   they go   into   flowering   mode   its   hard   to   find   non   flowering   shoots   and   if   you   do,   the   cuttings   often   try   to   produce   flower   buds   and can take longer to root. Once rooted, again, they want to produce flower buds instead of growth. Here   we   have   an   unprepared   cutting   as   seen   when   taken   from   it's   'mother'   just   above   a   set   of   leaves.   By   chance   this   cutting is   throwing   leaves   in   three's   instead   of   the   usual   pairs.   I   don't   know   why   this   happens,   but   its   not   uncommon   and,   whatever the   reason,   it   can   be   considered   as   a   bonus   as   an   extra   side   shoot   will   be   made   in   each   of   the   leaf   axils,   giving   extra flowers. But don't be surprised if some of the later growth reverts back to the more usual pairs of leaves.
With   the   bottom   leaves   removed   and   the   stem   trimmed   off   just   below   the   leaf   node   we   have   reached   the   stage   of   a   fuchsia cutting   and   one   I   would   recommend   for   the   beginner   to   start   with. This   would   be   inserted   into   your   rooting   medium   half   way up the stem. This   fuchsia   cutting   if   taken   in   the   early   spring   will   root   quite   easily,   but,   as   the   season   progresses,   the   stems   will   ripen   or harden and rooting cuttings of this size can take longer, so putting the cutting under more pressure.
In   early   spring   it   is   not   always   possible   to   find   the   length   of   cutting   mentioned   above   on   plants   kept   through   the   winter. An   alternative   cutting   is   the   one   shown   here,   commonly   known   as   a   tip   cutting.      Also   these cuttings   are   available   right   through   Spring   and   into   early   Summer   before   the   plant   goes   into ‘flowering   mode’. All   the   goodness   and   hormones   are   raging   away   at   the   top   of   every   shoot so   these   make   ideal   cutting   material.   To   take   it   a   bit   further,   half   of   the   bottom   set   of   leaves can   be   cut   (cleanly)   away   as   the   cutting   will   not   need   all   this   leaf   during   it’s   time   of propagation.      The   cutting   on   the   right   is   now   prepared   and   ready   for   the   next   step.   This would   be   just   and   so   inserted   into   the   rooting   medium,   almost   sitting   on   the   top.   The problem   with   these   is   that,   once   they   have   rooted,   you   will   have   longer   to   wait   for   the   plant to   develop   as   against   a   longer   cutting.   With   all   your   cuttings   try   and   pick   those   with   the same size leaves, this will help in producing a plant which has even growth.
Here   we   have   a   3   inch   pot   with   12   tip   cuttings   and   a   2   inch   pot   with   5   tip   cuttings.   If   you   are   feeling   really   adventurous root   them   altogether   and   leave    them   in   the   pot   and   grow   them   on   and   treat   them   as   one   plant.   Be   warned,   it   is   not   as easy as some growers make out, otherwise prick them out singly. There   are   no   rules   about   how   many   should   go   in   a   pot.   I   feel   its   as   many   as   looks   comfortable,   as   tip   cuttings   will vary   in   size   from   cultivar   to   cultivar.   Fuchsias   do   not   need   any   sort   of   rooting   powder   but   if   you   feel   it   is   necessary then go ahead. Whatever the size of your cuttings, give them a light spray with a fine mister before they go into the propagator.
Here   we   have   two   home   made   propagators.   A   pop   bottle,   with   the   middle   cut   away   with   the   top   sitting   inside   the bottom,   will   house   the   3   inch   pot   whilst   a   coffee   jar   will   take   a   2   inch   pot.   Or   simply   place   a   plastic   bag   over   the   pot and seal with an elastic band. One or two small canes in the pot will stop the bag touching the cuttings. These   are   ideal   methods   for   anyone   without   a   greenhouse   as   they   can   be   placed   on   a   north   facing   window   cill. Don't put them in direct sunshine, like the one on the right, or the cuttings will fry. Don't   go   opening   them   up   every   day   to   have   a   look,   leave   them   alone   and   they   will   be   quite   happy   in   their   little environment
The   use   of   Jiffy   Pots   is   another   way   of   rooting   cuttings   and   can   give   excellent   results.   They   come   as   flat   hard discs, pop them in water and up they swell. If   your   cutting   is   quite   soft   then   make   a   hole   with   a   thin   stick,   insert   the   cutting   and   squeeze   the   jiffy   gently   to make sure the cutting is in contact with the compost. A fine spray over the cutting and put them into a propagator. Care   has   to   be   taken   that   the   jiffy   does   not   dry   out,   it   has   to   be   kept   moist   (not   soaking   wet)   at   all   times.      If   you use   seed   trays   with   holes   in   the   base   then   line   the   base   and   up   the   sides   with   thin   plastic   to   enable   you   to   dribble a little water in if needed. Once   rooted   they   can   be   potted   up   in   the   normal   way.   Some   growers   take   the   trouble   of   cutting   away   the   netting before potting up claiming it stops the roots from coming through but I have never had a problem with this.
This   is   a   commercial   propagator   for   cuttings   and,   being   influenced   by   a certain   fuchsia   grower,   I   tried   them   and   put   the   obligatory   60   -   70   tip   cuttings into   one.   But   the   problem   I   found   was   not   all   cultivars   will   root   at   the   same time   and   whilst   some   will   have   rooted   and   be   ready   for   potting   on,   others will not and these will get disturbed. Another   problem   I   had   was   Botrytis   (mould).   I   always   lost   at   least   10   to   15%, I felt that there was just not enough air for the number and size of cuttings. It   just   went   to   prove   that   what   works   for   one   grower   doesn’t   always   work   for another.   30   tip   cuttings   might   have   stood   a   better   chance   and   they   would   be ideal for a dozen normal size cuttings. I   now   use   tray   cells   on   a   heated   foil   mat   which   looks   like   an   electric   blanket and   measures   48”   x   24”.   It   has   a   thermostat   for   heat   control   and   being   foil   I can   roll   it   up   when   not   in   use.   I   also   made   a   cover   to   fit   over   it   from   aluminium   rods   and   corner   joints   which   stands about   12”   high.   The   sides   are   covered   with   a   thin   tarpaulin   material   and   the   top   is   covered   in   thin   clear   plastic   and   I use   fleece   over   the   top   for   shading.   The   mat,   rods   and   corner   joints   came   from   Two   Wests   &   Elliot.   There   is   now plenty   of   airspace   and   I   get   a   near   100%   success   rate   with   cuttings   and   because   the   cuttings   are   in   individual   cells they can be removed without disturbance to others.
Finally,   don’t   forget   to   mist   over   cuttings   and   label   them   before   they   go   into   a   propagator   and   don’t   go   opening   it   to   see   how   they   are   doing   unless   it   is   to give them a quick mist if they look dry or to dribble a little water around Jiffy Pots. Rooting   should   take   place   in   about   3   -   4   weeks   at   a   temperature   of   about   65   degrees   Fahrenheit.   The   right   conditions   will   be   apparent   by   a   fine   misting being formed on the inside the lid. You can usually tell when a cutting has rooted without disturbing it. It takes on a fresher and healthier look, even producing new growth in the tip.  
Copyright 2011
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Taking Cuttings