Monty Don cuttings tips: gardening expert says this is the best time to take cuttings to fill out your garden

Gardening expert Monty Don reassures that you shouldn't be daunted by this gardening job

lavender cuttings in pots, to illustrate Monty Don cuttings tips
(Image credit: Getty)

There are two kinds of people in this world, those who love fall and the whole run-up to the festive season, and those who dread the shorter, chillier days. Either way, there's still plenty to keep us busy in our outdoor spaces (or, with the best indoor plants) when summer winds down. 

For instance, it's a great time to reflect and decide which plants you want more of for the year ahead. Monty Don has shared his expert tips for when it comes to how to take cuttings – a brilliant gardening task to complete in September.

a person's hands seen propagating geraniums

(Image credit: Getty)

Monty Don cuttings tips

Writing about September gardening on his blog, Monty Don tells readers not to be daunted by the process of taking cuttings - also known as propagating. 'They are easy, mostly successful and the gateway to producing scores of new plants for free,' he says. 

It's a highly rewarding example of gardening for beginners – and the best bit is that it costs nothing. 'Cuttings are essentially clones, so if you have a favorite rose or a really good upright rosemary bush then all these qualities will remain with the new plants grown from cuttings,' Monty explains.

The gardening expert also shared some of his top tips for propagating success, helping you to fill out borders and pots in your garden without having to spend money on established plants. For example, he recommends using a plastic bag to put the fresh cutting into straight away to stop them from drying out - and a sharp knife and secateurs.

an image of Monty Don

(Image credit: Alamy)

'Always choose healthy, strong, straight growth for cutting material. It should be free from any flowers or flower buds,' he says. 

When potting up your cuttings, which should be done straight away, use gritty or sandy compost. And after placing them in a sunny spot, and having watered and misted them regularly, roots will begin to form.

Monty Don says that fresh new growth signals that the roots have started to develop. You can also store them in water and observe the roots beginning to appear.

a person handling rose cuttings in pots on the grass

(Image credit: Alamy)

As well as taking cuttings, it's a great idea to decide on a few autumn gardening jobs
you're going to tick off. This will keep your backyard looking healthy and help to keep you motivated – even if it's simply having a good tidy-up and deciding what to do with autumn leaves. Happy growing!

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.