Propagate Acacia cognata

Propagate Acacia Cognata

Acacia cognata is a type of wattle. It’s a very attractive Australian native, grown for its soft foliage. There are quite a few popular varieties being sold. Mini cog, lime magik, green mist and waterfalls are just a few.

Propagating by cuttings can be successful on all varieties of acacia cognata. Also propagating all other types of wattle can be done by cuttings.

Taking cuttings

The best time of year to take cuttings is spring-early autumn. We’ve taken cuttings in winter before and the success rate was really quite dreadful.

We didn’t apply any bottom heat during our winter cutting experiment and this may help improve success. Our success rate for winter cuttings of Acacia cognata was only 10%.

However when we take the cuttings during the warmer seasons, success is closer to 80%.

To harvest the cutting select some nice healthy branches. I usually like to look for branches that have some nice fresh growth.

Propagate Acacia cognata
Acacia cognata branches

The best part of the branch to use is the area close to the tips, where the new growth is sprouting. I like to make the cutting about 10cm(4”) back from the tip. I then cut the tip of leaving a cutting 5cm in length.

Propagate Acacia cognata
Stem that will become cutting

The lower half of the foliage we strip of all foliage. This is where the roots will shoot from.

The end result cutting should look like the photo below and be approximately 5cm (2”) long.

Propagate Acacia cognata
Hows your cutting should look

Striking the roots 

Like almost all our cuttings we strike the roots in our specially mixed propagation mix. Which is made with 90% perlite and 10% peat moss.

Both products are excellent at holding moisture and the perlite allows good air flow.

We fill a seedling tray with the mix. You can use any available container provided there is adequate drain holes, that will allow water to freely pass through.

Before planting the cuttings into the mix we lightly wet it down. This will form the mix up so that we can create a small hole with a bamboo skewer. 

We go along plugging the cuttings into the perlite/ peat moss mix.

Propagate Acacia cognata
Plugging the cuttings in

Once all the cuttings are in the mix, water throughly!

It will take 2-3 months for roots to sprout on the cuttings.

During this time the cuttings must be kept in a sheltered area out of direct sunlight and wind. The perlite and peat moss must also be kept moist at all times.

Propagate Acacia cognata

You’ll know when the roots have sprouted either by checking under the seedling tray or by gently pulling up on the cuttings. If there is slight resistance this is root. If no resistance they will just lift out with no roots.

Like I said this should take 2-3 months.

Potting the cuttings

We pot all our cuttings into 50mm (2″) tube pots. This allows us to save on space as we pot so many.

If you’re only potting up a handful use a 150mm (6′) pot, that will save you needing to repot before planting into the garden.

Always wait until the cuttings have a nice healthy looking root system. I wait until the roots are a few centimetres long (about an inch).

Acacia (wattle) cutting
Cutting with roots

Your cuttings will have the best chance at becoming strong healthy plants if you use a good quality potting mix.

Look for a mix that has plenty of organic matter and trace elements.

Most acacias grow naturally in areas that are of poor soil quality. What this means for us gardeners, is we should avoid fertilisers that use too much nutrients particularly phosphorus.

Gently remove the cuttings from the propagation mix (the perlite/Peat moss mix). You want to do this carefully, as the roots will occasionally break off. They are so delicate at this early stage of development.

Potting Acacia cuttings
Potting acacia cuttings

Once the cuttings are potted, they need to be watered in well. Again store them in a sheltered area out of direct sunlight and wind.

Keep the new plants in the pots for at least 3 more months.

Once the root system is filling the pot, they can be moved out into the elements, ie direct sun etc.

Propagate Acacia cognata
Roots filling the pot

If everything has gone to plan there should be heaps of new growth and you’ve got several healthy, happy plants!

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Happy planting!

Propagation tools

To view links on the products we use when propagating be sure to click on the link.

Also you can click here to see all the other plants we propagate. I think there is now over 50 articles and growing!

Acacia Cognata Fact Sheet

Acacia Cognata
Acacia cognata

Acacia cognata is a hardy Australian native plant. The foliage is soft and feathery. Flowers occur in late winter- early spring, although most of the hybrids found in cultivation won’t produce flowers.

Poplular cultivars are mini cog, lime light, lime magik, waterfalls and green mist.

Acacia cognata is grown predominantly for its foliage. The foliage can be green, lime, yellow or a combination.

For a nice small tree lime magik is a great choice with its weepy yellow/lime foliage. Other cultivars like waterfalls are grafted and form attractive weeping standards.

Mini cog is great for small gardens with its low habit and smaller spread. Use it around ponds and steams or in rockeries. Green mist will grow much taller and can be grown as a very effective screening plant.

Being an Australian native its very tolerant of poor growing conditions. Once established it is both drought and frost tolerant.

Cultural notes

Botanical name: Acacia cognata

Common name: Bower wattle or river wattle

Family: Fabaceae

Native to: Australia

Flowers: Late winter- Spring

Position: Full sun, part shade

Height: 60cm- 4m (Depending on type)

Width: 60cm- 3m (Depending on type)


Hi I'm Kev. I'm mainly focused on propagation, running the nursery day to day, water gardening and staying active.

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