Growing more plants?
Use the right knives, pruners & scissors
My absolute favorite thing in the world is making more plants from
cuttings – so I spare no expense in buying quality tools for my stock in
The success of my succulent nursery depends on the success of the propagation I do.
One of my favorite tools for vegetative propagation
is my grafting knife, folding into a teak handle. The company that
makes them, Tina, is in Switzerland; buy them from mail order companies
that specialize in gardening and nursery tools.
Folding Tina Grafting Knife
Felco Pruning Tools
Grafting knives and cutting knives are only sharpened on one side.
Grafting knives are pointed to enable you to pry open the tissues and
line up the cambium layers when grafting. I use mine primarily for
preparing cuttings, but either way it has to be sharp.
I use a
sharpening stone to put a keen edge on my knives. Cutting knives
generally don’t have a sharp point, but are otherwise similar in
construction. Once you have a favorite knife, it becomes part of your
hands and you’ll have a hard time adapting to any other.
I also have at least two pairs of Felco number 2 pruners for taking
heavier cuttings or pruning plants in the landscape, and a pair of Felco
loppers, 17 inch size for making twiggy rustic crafts.
Japanese Bonsai Scissors
Razor Knife with replaceable blades
I like this knife that folds into itself, and locks closed. The
blades are disposable, and there are several different configurations
available, such as a hooked carpet knife, or a single blade.
For taking cuttings of succulent plants I sometimes use a razor blade, the kind with a one sharp edge and one protected edge.
I also use this for packaging, to cut boxes down and cut rolls of cardboard to length.
My other favorite tool for taking cuttings are a pair of Japanese bonsai
scissors. They are sharp and have a point, and are comfortable to use
for long propagation sessions. I have never sharpened these, but
occasionally wipe them with oil to prevent rust.
tools in my arsenal are a few nails of different sizes. I use these for
pushing ends of thyme cuttings into the soil mix; sometimes I’ll use a
wooden skewer for this too.
It pays in the end to purchase good quality tools as they last longer and are a pleasure to use. Take good care of them, and they’ll last you a lifetime.
Succulent Plant Propagation
Hardy Succulent Plant Propagation by Division