Propagation & Nursery

The nursery production industry is the foundation for all horticulture. It produces the plants that home gardeners buy, that landscapers use to build their gardens and that crop growers plant and nurture to produce their crops.  Without the skill of propagating and proliferating large numbers of plants, all other sectors of the horticulture industry would collapse.


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Extract from Nursery Management Book

Extract from Cutting Propagation Book


Publications -Books 

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Propagating from Cuttings  by John Mason
Jam packed with detail of how to grow plants more effectively from cuttings; it is an easy to follow and well indexed reference that will be invaluable for both professional and amateur horticulturists.

NURSERY MANAGEMENT  by John Mason  2nd edition

This is an industry standard reference; 320pages; a must read for anyone serious about working in retail or production nurseries.




A revised and expanding edition of a book first published by Night Owl Press. It reflects changes in horticultural practice and botanical classification.

Growing media for ornamental plants and turf.
An invaluable guide to the production and management of growing media, this book is an absolutely essential reference tool for practicing horticulturists, nurserypeople, landscape architects, turfgrass managers and serious gardeners.


Propagation and Nursery Courses

Nurseries commonly grow a very large range of different plants. For this reason alone, plant identification skills are highly valued by nurseryment. If you want a successful buisiness or career in the nursery industry, your first and most important education goal should be to learn to identify a large number of different plants.

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Extract from Nursery Management Book

 The following is from the book "Nursery Management, 2nd edition" by our principal, John Mason. published in 2004 by Landlinks Press (CSIRO).

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Extract from Cutting Propagation Book by John Mason


If you want to get the best results from your cutting propagation, you really need to pay attention to selecting the appropriate technique for the time of year, and type of plant you are growing. Different types of plant tissues have varying abilities to sprout roots and shoots and turn into a new plant.

The ease with which particular tissue can grow as a cutting depends upon the chemical and physical make up of that tissue. These physical and chemical properties can be extremely variable at different times of the year, under different environmental conditions, and even between different varieties of the same plant species; let alone from one part of a plant to another. To become more and more successful at cutting propagation; you need to try and understand these subtle differences. In time, a good cutting propagator can develop an ability to make informed guesses as how to propagate a wide range of different plants.

Classification of Cuttings Types

Cuttings are commonly classified broadly in two different ways:

According to the type of plant tissuewhich is used.  Example: A leaf cutting is a cutting made from just a leaf, or part of a leaf; and a stem cutting is made from a piece of stem.

According to the age or tenderness of the tissue being used.

Example: Softwood cuttings come from tissue that is soft; whereas hardwood cuttings come from harder wood, which is older. The age of the wood is generally related to seasonal growth characteristics, for example, softwood cuttings are commonly taken in spring after the first flush of new spring growth, however they also be taken at other times of the year if suitable plant growth is available.

The classification of cuttings is not always the same from country to country, or even place to place within a country. Terms used in one place are sometimes different to those used elsewhere. The term “tip” cutting, for example,  is often used to describe a cutting taken from the end of a stem. This in effect is normally, but not always, the same as a softwood cutting.

Some cuttings might contain different types of tissue in the one cutting. A heel cutting, for example, can contain wood that has grown recently at the top (still soft); wood that is semi -hard in the middle, and a small section of hard wood (from last years growth) attached at the bottom.

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