Propagate From Semi-Ripe Cuttings | BBC Gardeners World Magazine

Propagate From Semi-Ripe Cuttings | BBC Gardeners World Magazine

Semi-ripe cuttings are made using this year’s stems, when they are woody at the base and soft at the tip.

It’s this hard base that makes the cuttings less likely to rot, and in autumn hormone levels are high, so plants should root and grow well.

Watch Monty taking semi-ripe cuttings from herbs.

Here are seven plants to propagate from cuttings in autumn.


These stunning, pollinator-friendly perennials really earn their keep in the garden, including Salvia ‘Amistad’, pictured. Salvias can suffer in the coldest winters, so take cuttings to ensure you have back up plants should temperatures dip. Take a look at 16 salvias to grow.

Deep purple Salivia ‘Amistad’ in flower

Culinary sage

Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) has a punchy flavour that lends itself to dishes of meat, pasta or gnocchi. Take a look at Monty Don’s advice on how to propagate herbs, including sage.

Shoots of culinary sage, with purple-tinged newer leaves and green older ones


These eye-catching perennials have beautiful yellow flowers in the summer months. The flowers and stems turn a golden hue in winter and look gorgeous when touched with frost. Shrubby phlomis, Phlomis fruticosa, is suitable for taking cuttings.

Yellow buds opening in a phlomis flowerhead


Whether you’re using it for hedging or topiary shapes, you’ll find plenty of uses for extra box plants. Propagate it by taking semi-ripe cuttings.

Ball-shaped box plants in a row beside grasses next to paving


A delicious addition to stews, sauces and tagines. Here’s our full advice on how to take rosemary stem cuttings – take a look to find out how easy it is to propagate rosemary.

Holding a rosemary shoot between fingertips


Penstemon cuttings can be taken at several times of year, including spring, late summer and early autumn. This is especially worth doing if you live further north, where winter losses are more likely. Here’s our guide to taking penstemon cuttings.

Deep-pink fringed, white bell-shaped flowers of Penstemon ‘Laura’


With so many uses, lavender is arguably a garden essential. Propagating lavender from semi-ripe cuttings couldn’t be easier. Just a few of the ways you could use your new plants include creating a lavender bath bag or lavender bath oil.

Preparing lavender cuttings with a knife on a wooden board

For more plants to propagate in late summer and autumn, check out our features on plants to divide after flowering and plants to propagate by layering.

Aim for mid-autumn

As winter approaches, the stems you need to take cuttings from will be getting firmer and harder. If you leave it too late in autumn, these stems may be too hard to take semi-ripe cuttings. So, aim to have these cuttings done before mid-autumn.