Salvia cuttings

Salvias are a large group of plants popular for adding colour to borders in late summer. The perennial types vary in hardiness so a good way to safeguard against winter losses is to root cuttings. This is simple to do and it is satisfying to share these long-flowering plants with friends.

Salvia x jamensis 'La Luna'. Image: RHS/Tim Sandall

Quick facts

Suitable for All salvias
Timing Late summer or early autumn
Difficulty Easy to moderate

When to take cuttings

Take cuttings in August or September. The growth may still be soft or just beginning to harden (semi-ripe).

How to take cuttings

Taking salvia cuttings is relatively easy and straight forward, just follow these simple steps:

    1. With a sharp knife or secateurs, cut several stems from non-flowering shoots in late summer and place in a plastic bag. Collect material in the morning when it is at its most hydrated.2. Use a knife to prepare the final cuttings. Trim each cutting just below a leaf and carefully cut or pinch off the leaves from the lower half. Only use material from the shoot tips. Each cutting should be around 5-8cm (2-3in) in length. 3. Dip the base into a rooting hormone compound (ideally based on naphthylacetic acid) and insert into a 15cm (6in) pot of gritty, cuttings compost five to eight cuttings per pot. Water in and place in a propagator or cover with a clear, plastic bag. Keep at room temperature until rooted and overwinter in a frost-free place.


    There are very few problems associated with taking salvia cuttings, but blackleg can occur if water, pots, compost or tools are unsterilised.

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    • AmandaD avatar

      By AmandaD on 22/10/2014

      I took cuttings from salvia hot lips, penstemon, fascias and saponaria ocymoides on 31st August. Most have taken well and have a good or developing root system. I potted them on 2 weeks ago and they are still in my green house. Should I leave them there where greenfly like to overwinter, or put them in a cold frame and protect them only really cold spells? I'm so excited that the cuttings have taken and don't want to lose them.

      0 replies