Cuttings and Pullings
Not all Propagation Plant Cuttings are created equal.
A Pulled Cutting may be more successful than a Cut Cutting.


Here a Lilac Cutting is being pulled from the parent stem. It is not pulled down; but out the side. Often it includes a sliver attached to the bottom. The sliver is trimmed as shown. Pulling eliminates the chance of transferring bacteria with your cutting tools.

Left to Right (dipped in Rooting Hormone powder):
Nodal, Modified Mallet or Half-Mallet (these 2 opposite cuttings share half of the same Mallet), Mallet, Heel. The Heel Cutting is not really cut; but Pulled from the parent twig. This includes a sliver of bark and Cambium from the junction or nodal area which are thought to contain or produce growth Hormones that encourage or stimulate root growth.

There are several types of stem Cuttings (plus root Cuttings and leaf Cuttings), depending on how and where on the stem the "cut" is made:

Nodal Cuttings:
The little bumps on twigs where buds appear are called Nodes. 
A Cut just below a Node is called a Nodal Cutting.

Internodal Cuttings:
Cuts made between Nodes are called Internodal Cuttings.

Mallet Cuttings:
Cuttings which include a portion of the parent twig look like a wooden mallet, and are called Mallet Cuttings.

Heel Cuttings:
These might be called "Pullings", since they are pulled from the parent twig along with additional Cambium and those special cells which are thought to produce hormones which encourage root growth.

While we're on the subject of Pulling Cuttings, lets mention pulling Suckers out of the ground. They may be extensions of the parent plant and have roots attached. Seeds which drop to the ground and grow into seedlings may also be had for the pulling.

Waiting for a rain or digging these out may provide a higher degree of success, since there should be less root loss. Often they can be successfully planted, with no more care than watering and the humidity afforded by an enclosure.


Since some cuttings produce minimal Hormones and others produce excessive Hormones, it may be best to plant Cuttings in close proximity so they can all benefit from the collective Hormone "pool". You may be interested in Wrapped Cuttings which provide this advantage. 








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