Sponsors
    Top How Tos

» Propagate my Plants

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Propagate my Plants
» Sponsors

I love gardening and in the wintertime I truly miss having things growing around me, so I fill my house with a vast array of plants. They help to filter the air as well as to make me feel a bit more cheerful as the days grow so short and the evenings so long. Plants however are not an inexpensive proposition, but they can be, if you trade a few cuttings with your friends or neighbors and propagate your own houseplants, as propagating your own plants is a far less costly way to increase your garden stock and to share with friends.

If you aren’t at all sure about propagation , there are several good books out on the subject with some very good photos of what you will need to do to make sure that your propagation works out for you.

One of the most common means of propagation is the typical root cutting for which all that’s really necessary is a small sharp knife and some containers to root the cuttings.

You can also propagate by layering, grafting and dividing.

Propagation by cuttings is nothing more than removing parts of a parent plant and rooting those which we cut.

If taken from healthy stock and given moisture, warmth and a suitable medium in which to grow within a months time you will have new plants for very little cost.

Doing a balancing act:

The leaves left on your cuttings are what will take in nourishment for the developing roots, however if there are too many left, then they will demand more from the stem than it can provide. Keeping a good balance is important and you can do that by removing all of the lower leaves nearer the stems as well as any flower buds that might be on the stem.

As your roots develop new leaves will appear rapidly and in the case of large leafed plants, such as the hydrangea, cut the leaves in half, leaving just half of them on the cutting.

Making a do it yourself plant propagator:
Fill an old plastic tray, about three inches deep, with soil and insert the cuttings into it. Remove the hook part from three wire coat hangers and bend the wire into half circles that you insert at each end and one in the middle of the tray.

then cover the tray with saran wrap for clear plastic wrap and punch pinholes for adequate ventilation.

Pot your cuttings quickly after they root. If the roots become entangled with each other, swish them around in water to separate them and then plant.

Water Propagation:
The stems of some kinds of house plants and also half hardy perennials such as impatiens will root in water, provided that its done correctly.

Cover the glass of water with a piece of foil or saran wrap and push the stem through gently. Make certain that you do strip down the lower leaves or that you keep them above the water level as they may cause the plant to rot rather than to root. Keep the water topped up as it roots and when they appear, plant immediately in very moist potting mix. Plants that are rooted in water do tend to be slower to thrive than those which are not.

Clean Cutting:
Make certain to trim your cutting with a very sharp knife or a razor before you insert it into potting medium. Plants that are broken or have ragged edges will tend to rot.

Root Cuttings:
Some plants with fleshy roots such as day lilies, sumac, yucca and others can be propagated from the root cuttings. When your plant is fully dormant, lift it from the ground and cut back any top growth. Wash the roots and remove young plants cutting them close to the crown, and return the parent plant to the soil. Cut two inch sections from the small roots and insert them into a pot that is filled with sandy potting mixture and push them down until their tops are level with the surface. Do not water until shoots appear on them..

Roses:
Heirloom, English and many other types of roses are great candidates to propagate with cuttings because they grow well on their own roots and usually don’t need grafting.
Make sure that you select some healthy specimens and that
they have completely finished blooming and cut them with at least four leaflets intact when you cut them. They will root in about three weeks.

Offsets:
Bulbs and corms will form smaller offspring which are tiny versions of themselves called bulblets or cormels.
For narcissus or tulips break off the offset by hand and pull them apart. For gladiolas, let the corm dry out and then twist off the cormels, store them inside over winter and dry them and then plant in spring.

Cacti and Succulents:
To avoid them rotting, allow the base of any of this type plant to dry or heal before you insert it into a rooting medium, which is usually cactus soil.
Ready to go plants:
The chicks, of the hen and chicks plant that is so popular produce their own offspring and completely shoot without any assistance. Simply break off the plant and re-pot them in cacti soil.

Heel cuttings:
Stem cuttings with a heel can be taken from softwood, hardwood or evergreen stems. removed a suitable side shoot from the parent plant or tree by holding it between your thumb and forefinger and pull down sharply, then trim the heel with a sharp knife and remove the lower leaves.

Dip the basal cut in hormone rooting powder (I use Dip and Grow) and tap it gently to take off the excess powder. Insert it into a small pot of potting mix or an equal mixture of peat moss and sand, shape one end of a wire into a circle and insert the other into the potting soil. The support will keep the plastic that you wrap it in from coming into contact with the leaves. Cover the pot with plastic to prevent against moisture loss.

Head Down Propagation:

Propagate species such as the umbrella palm by dotting off one of the heads and tripping back the leaves. Place the cutting upside down in the water. New shoots will appear between the leaves withing a few weeks and then you will put the plants in pots of soil.. right side up of course.

There are literally hundreds of methods of plant propagation and each one will save you time and money in the purchase of plants. Look at it this way. Try something new and if you don’t succeed, then you’re not out anything but a bit of time. It is an experiment and in not time at all, you will be the expert.

Here is a sampler of plants and the way in which they are best propagated.

Blue Myrtle: Propagate by division.

Burning Bush: Softwood cuttings in late May or early June, hardwood cuttings in late mid to late fall in an outdoor frame.

Oak Trees: Grow from seed. Collect when ripe and plant immediately.

Ornamental Grasses: Propagate by division.

Flowering Plum Trees: Desired varieties must be budded on to a rootstock grown from seed. Collect the seeds when ripe and stratify in moist peat in your refrigerator for 150 days before planting outside.

White Pine Trees: Grow from seed. Collect the pine cones in the fall before they open and allow them to open in a paper bag to catch the seeds. Store in a cool dry place until spring, then sow them outside.

Pussy Willow: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Privet: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Red Bud Trees: Grow from seed. Collect when ripe and plant outside in the spring.

Rhododendrons: Can be grown from seed. Collect in the fall and grow in a flat, indoors at 70 degrees F. with some light. Hybrid varieties must be grown from cuttings. Softwoods in early June under intermittent mist, or hardwoods in per-lite peat moss mixture in the late fall with bottom heat.

Rose of Sharon: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Purple Sandcherry: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Spiraea: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Colorado Blue Spruce: Grow from seed. Collect the pine cones in the fall before they open and allow them to open in a paper bag to catch the seeds. Store in a cool dry place until spring, then sow them outside.

Wisteria: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Weeping Willow: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Witch Hazel: Layering in the spring, softwood cuttings in early June, or hardwood cuttings in the late fall.

Yews (Taxus): Softwood cuttings in early July through early August, or hardwood cuttings in the fall in course sand in an outside frame, or hardwood cuttings in late fall or winter with bottom heat.

Yucca: Propagate by taking cuttings from the roots in early spring and planting outside. Just cut a piece of root about 3/4″ long and plant it below the surface of the soil about 1/2

You might want to consider ordering one of the excellent books we found on the Internet, among them. The plant Propagation Handbook. Or Visiting The Last Resort, An Index of Gardening Resources.

Comments

There are no comments just yet

Leave a Comment

Add your picture!
Join Gravatar and upload your avatar. C'mon, it's free!