Adam Frost’s Favourite Plants for Cuttings

Adam Frost's Favourite Plants for Cuttings

Taking summer cuttings is easy to do and can be done with so many plants. Early summer is a great time to give it a go as the plants are actively growing, so your cuttings will root easily. If you’re growing tender plants, taking cuttings is also a good way to make sure you have extra plants in case of a harsh winter.

Start with the basics

Some plants root more readily than others. Choose a healthy-looking stem of new growth that doesn’t have any marks or blemishes. The new growth should be firm but still flexible and not woody. For softwood cuttings, it’s also best to choose growth with no flowers. If you can’t find any stems without flowers, then pinch out the blooms or buds, and keep an eye on the cuttings to keep them free of flowers. The best time to take cuttings is early in the day, when the plant is full of water.

Use a gritty peat-free compost with perlite added. Use a clear plastic bag to hold in the moisture, making sure the leaves don’t touch the bag, as this encourages rot.

The best time to take cuttings is early in the day, when the plant is full of water.
Adam Frost

Place your cuttings in a light position (but not direct sun), don’t overwater and make sure there’s good air circulation around them.

Browse Adam Frost’s pick of the best plants to take cuttings from, below.


Softwood cuttings – penstemon

Penstemons have beautiful bright flowers in late summer and autumn. Usually hardy unless you live in a very cold area.


Softwood cuttings – salvia

A great garden plant for late-summer colour. Many salvias are tender, but root easily as a cutting.


Softwood cuttings – fuchsia

There’s a fuchsia for every size of garden, from bedding varieties to large shrubs. Some are hardy and others very tender.


Softwood cuttings – pelargonium

A colourful summer bedding plant. Taking cuttings of pelargoniums (also known as bedding geraniums) is a great way to make more bedding for the following summer.


Softwood cuttings – clematis

A super climber with so many varieties you could have a clematis in flower every season. Cuttings can be taken from any clematis and used to grow lots of new climbers.

Flowering currant

Softwood cuttings – flowering currant

A great shrub for early spring flowers. Cuttings are very easy to root.


Softwood cuttings – dianthus

Pinks (also known as carnations or dianthus) are easy to grow and perfect for the front of borders or containers. The evergreen foliage makes good cuttings.


Softwood cuttings – chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums make lovely cut flowers and produce vibrant booms throughout autumn.


Softwood cuttings – dahlia

Dahlias make a colourful summer show in borders. They also grow really well in containers. Dahlia cuttings will help you build up new borders really quickly.


Softwood cuttings – rosemary

A hardy shrub with flowers loved by insects. Rosemary smells lovely too! The cuttings root really easily, so you will have new plants in no time.