cutting, in horticulture, part of a plant stem, leaf, or root cut off and used for producing a new plant. It is a convenient and inexpensive method of propagation, not possible for all plants but used generally for grapes; chrysanthemums; verbenas (stem cuttings); blackberries (root cuttings); African violets (leaf cuttings); and for many other plants. Cuttings, as soon as they are made, are usually placed in moist sand, frequently heated from below; if taken in the fall, as hardwood cuttings of trees or shrubs, they are kept in unheated sand over the winter and planted in the spring. The word cutting alone usually means stem cutting; slip is a common synonym. The general availability today of rooting hormones and misting devices has made possible the propagation by cuttings of many kinds of plants that had not previously responded favorably.
See G. W. Adriance and F. R. Brison, Propagation of Horticultural Plants (2d ed. 1955); H. Hartmann and D. E. Kester, Plant Propagation (5th ed. 1990).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.