OK Jim, here goes, this may get a little boring and lengthy, remember I love to ramble, hee, hee.
I don't know what stage of growth the mother plants are at right now, but I usually hit them when they have many new shoots coming up that have at least three sets of leaves. You can take cuttings any time after they are taller too, but I find taking the cuttings really early promotes the plants to be even more strong and when they are little bit older I divide them, and I aggressively divide them.
First lets talk about division. Perennials usually respond really well to division after a few years, many plants demand division to keep them growing well. By division I mean cutting them into hunks and planting those new hunks. Sometimes an axe is required, other times a shovel. Hyssop can be divided by a shovel. I divided two plants yesterday, the original mother plants, of the mother plants I got about 6 new plants each to move around (2 mother plants). I left a hunk of the mother plant in the ground, she will grow to massive size this year because of the division. Next year I will divide about 15 more like that because they will need division, and holy smoking smokers!!! I will just have to figure out what to do with the next many, many that will need division in a few years time, hee, hee.
OK, now onto the cuttings. I have a pair of snips (not the green ones that JP sent up to Frantz, that is a joke by the way, teasing JP). These are little scissor like snips. I grap a stem, I am going to speak blatently here. I cut that stem to below the second set of leaves, just above the third leaves,
That leaves a stem with a set of leaves and the new growing tip. Not very tall, I should take a picture to show you, I will do that later on today, so look for a picture tomorrow morning of the actual look of the plant.
I use rooting hormone, this is not necessary, but I believe it really allows the cutting to get an extra good leap into life. I put a little bit of rooting hormone on the stem below the leaf set. I place this stem into the soil and push it into the medium until the set of leaves is just barely beneath the soil medium (the soil must be moistened prior to putting the stem in it). You will see the leaves kind of sticking out of the soil.
The plant will wilt and it will look terrible for about 2 days. Then after two or three days the stem will begin to stand up straight and within two weeks, the cutting will have roots. You can then plant this entire cutting and small root ball into the ground, or you can leave it for a little bit longer. It is very simplistic and takes no time whatsover. I did about 100 cuttings in about 1/2 hour in all time length.
I am going now to take a picture of the bunch of cuttings and I will pull one out of the soil to show you what I am talking about, never mind waiting until tomorrow, so this will take a few minutes. I will suspend this post for now. C.U. in a few minute
OK, the first picture shows the tray of cuttings, 32 cells, 2 cuttings in each one. They are wilted looking, but beginning to restore the strength of the cutting, they will be upright and growing well in a couple of more days
A single cell so you can have a good look
A cutting that has two sets of leaves, the lower set that I bury the very base of the leaves slightly under the soil medium
A cutting that has one set of leaves, the set that I bury the very base slightly below the soil medium
I don't like to make the stem any longer than 2 or 3 sets of leaves for strength of the cutting for standing back up.
I hope that these pictures clarify exactly the process. Let me know if you require any further information, I will help you. Have the best of this most wonderful day, Cindi