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The Plant Propagator’s Bible - A step-by-step guide to propagating every plant in your gardenThe Plant Propagator’s Bible
A step-by-step guide to propagating every plant in your garden

Miranda Smith
Published by Cameron House
Distributed by Bookwise International

How to Propagate
How to Propagate - Techniques and tips for over 1000 plantsTechniques and tips for over 1000 plants

John Cushnie
Published by Kyle Cathie
Distributed by New Holland

PROPAGATION is gardening’s rediscovered art, if the number of recent books on the subject is anything to go by.

Hard on the heels of last year’s The Complete Book of Plant Propagation (published by Mitchell Beazley) and the RHS Propagating Plants are these two titles, one by American Miranda Smith and the other by Briton John Cushnie.

Cushnie’s discursive style in How to Propagate is a bonus, while the photography adds an authoritative, personal touch. However, the stylised illustrations in Smith’s book help to convey the basics clearly, particularly when it comes to more complex grafting techniques.

This said, both titles are comprehensive. Cushnie’s directory of plants is larger: Smith’s is slimmer, but more technically detailed. If you’re keen to graft one cactus on to another you’ll plump for Smith. On the other hand, if you want a reassuring, personal take on propagating camellias by taking leaf-bud cuttings, Cushnie fills the bill. If price is a consideration, The Plant Propagator’s Bible is by far the cheapest of the four titles mentioned.

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: March 1, 2021