Early spring is an ideal time to take basal cuttings Taking basal cuttings in early spring is a great way of boosting your plant stocks for the herbaceous border. Any perennials that produce multiple stems from a crown such as Delphiums, stocks and Lupins can be propagated this way. As early growth starts, cuttings are taken from the base of the plant, just above ground level If you are clearing an overgrown border for a new planting scheme it's a good way to save any of the plants you are sorry to be scrubbing out. The hardy geranium featured in this article is a perfect subject for this treat. Its long roots do not take well to division or moving and have been invaded by couch grass, the only way to rid the problem is to remove it from the border and take basal cuttings. Before you wield your knife, mix cutting compost with one quarter grit and fill some 5in (13cm) pots. Free-draining terracotta or clay types are best, plastic can hold too much water and cause cuttings to rot. Each pot will hold up to five cuttings. ;
Look for the strongest growth and remove sections at least 4in (10cm) long.
Cut back the base of the cutting to about 3in (7.5cm) and remove the largest leaves. This encourages the cutting to concentrate on root growth.
Insert the cuttings, five per pot, into the compost mix and water in. Place in a warm greenhouse or cover with a clear plastic freezer bag and place on a warm windowsill.