– Soak cuttings for 24-48h in water. Add a few drops of willow water, rooting hormone or alcohol if on hand. 

– Now you have 2 options: 

1) Leave them in water until roots form. Change water when it gets cloudy (the alcohol will help keep the water clean and bacteria free). Once the roots have formed you can plant in rich, loose garden soil or compost, either in a pot, or directly in the ground. This method works best for Elderberry and Willow.

2) This method works best for Beautyberry and Mulberry

– Choose a container that is deep enough to support the new root depth.

– Prepare a soil mixture that holds moisture, but does not become waterlogged – ⅔ potting mix and ⅓ sand works well

– Each stem that is prepared to this point will be dipped into a rooting compound and then placed directly down into the soil. We prepare the cuttings for you with a long incision on the stem – this allows maximum surface for root growth. On our permaculture, we use willow water as rooting hormone. 

– Cuttings will root without rooting compound (so do not worry if you don’t have any on hand) – it just may take a little longer.

– Plant the cutting with the cut end buried by at least 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.5-3.8 cm.) We always make sure that at least 2 nodes (where leaves used to be that were nipped off to encourage root growth) are covered in soil.

– Place a plastic bag over the container and put it in a 55 to 75 F. (13 to 24 C.), indirectly lit area.

– Open the bag daily to encourage air circulation and keep the media moist.

– Check for roots in two weeks. Some plants will be ready and other will take a month or more. 

– Repot the new plant when the root system is well established.