Step 1: Choose a New Shoot
Choose a current season’s shoot that is slightly resistant to bending at its base but still soft and green at the tip, and cut it just below a leaf joint.
Step 2: Trim Off the Top
Trim off the soft top portion of the cutting just above a leaf using a knife, then discard it. This reduces moisture loss through the soft leaves at the tip.
Step 3: Make a Shallow Cut
Make a shallow cut 1⁄2 in (1–2 cm) long on one side of the stem base to encourage rooting. Remove the leaves and sideshoots from the lower half of the stem.
Step 4: Dip in Rooting Powder
Dip the bottom 1⁄4 in (5 mm) of the cutting in hormone rooting powder, and tap off any surplus. Dust the entire wounded area with the powder.
Step 5: Insert the Cutting
Insert the cutting up to its lowest leaves in potting mix, or 3 in (8 cm) apart in the soil in a cold frame. Firm in place, label, and water with tap water.
Step 6: Keep Under Cover
Place the pot in a lidded propagator, or cover with a plastic bag. Hold the bag clear from the leaves by inserting sticks into the sides of the pot.
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Tender plants and half-hardy annuals and perennials are started indoors, since they need artificial warmth or frost-free conditions. The seeds of most hardy plants can be sown indoors, too, if you want closer control of their germination and early growth.