Soon will be the time to prepare for taking cuttings. By the end of September, in this area south Oxon, the plants are just about finished flowering and their energies are focussed upon making basal growths to take the plants over to the next year.
We need to harness this natural event and encourage it even more so by removing tips of the lengthy stems to put more strength into these shoots. This should have been done already- about late July.
Florist pansies and violas, unlike the garden centre bedding types, do not take kindly to a severe cut –all growth removed down to three inches or so- this might kill the Florist plants. So tips only!!!
Some Florist cultivars do not produce many basal growths ,but always seem to produce side shoots if main stems are stopped in this way- if lots of basal shoots form as a benefit to this exercise so much better, as the attachment shows.
Next one should consider obtaining some rooting help compounds, compost, containers etc., not all exhibition growers use rooting compounds, but IMO these DO help. The better ones have use by dates so check with the supplier prior to purchase.
Almost all good hydroponic outlets on the internet in the UK stock these items, the staff, in the main, are also in my experience, a good source of info on the subject of the type of propagation needed for soft stem cuttings.
Will continue with this theme on the next post to this site.