I have gone crazy over plant propagation. I love taking cuttings and making new plants. And when they flower, it’s the most amazing feeling.
About 2 years ago, Chris and I got cuttings from a climbing rose from Beth and we spent the majority of a day preparing those and sticking them into a bucket of dirt. Actually, there were so many cuttings I think I remember having 2 buckets full of cuttings but 1 bucket didn’t make it.
This is what the cuttings looked like after they took root. It didn’t take them very long. to put out new leaves. See how tiny they are? The flowers are tiny also. I have close to 2 dozen new plants from this bucket.
We also worked on Althea cuttings I got from an older friend. There were 2 varieties. One (my fave) had a small, baby pink, carnation type bloom. Those didn’t live but I have plans to get more cuttings. The other one is a lavender bloom and it’s very pretty. Here’s what the bucket looked like with the cuttings.
When I stick cuttings, I don’t use individual cups and I don’t use a special rooting medium like sand or vermiculite. I use potting soil with alpaca beans mixed in. I do dip each stalk into a rooting hormone before putting it into the soil mix. I put all of one kind in a large pot or bucket together. I think the cuttings like to be with each other. I think there’s a synergy between the cuttings that improves the success rate. I’m not a scientist but I’ve read that it’s true about Hibiscus and I believe it to be true about other plants. That’s just my opinion. And it works pretty well for me.
I check the pots at least twice a day so I don’t miss anything new going on! I let them all grow in the pot together until they start climbing out of the pot. Then I transplant them into their own little pots.
My favorite plants to propagate are roses. When we go to see Chris, he and I spend some time pruning rose bushes on the campus at Pinecrest. It’s the only volunteer activity I can do as a parent since we live so far away. Don’t worry. I won’t get into trouble for cutting their bushes. I got permission from administration. We have no idea what the names of the bushes are but there are a large number of different varieties. We put the cuttings from each bush in a separate garbage bag and when I get home, I prepare them for sticking. I label the pot or bucket as unknown. I’ve got several different containers going. This is the first bloom I’ve had from one of those rooted cuttings. I would love to know what it’s name is. I just love the bloom structure. The bloom size is about 2″ tip to tip.
So, here’s the process I use for propagating roses:
- Take cuttings from new wood in the spring/old wood in the fall
- Put the cuttings into a big trash can filled with water until I can work on them
- Cut each branch into as many pieces as I think will work. I cut just below a leaf node and make sure there are at least 2 leaf nodes on the stalk. I prefer leaves on top but sometimes that’s not possible
- Trim leaves by half to preserve energy during the rooting process
- Lightly scrape a couple of strips in the outer layer of the stem just below the leaf node.
- Keep all the prepared cuttings in a dish of water
- Shake off excess water from the stem and dip into rooting hormone powder. Shake off excess powder and stick the stem into the dirt covering at least the first leaf node, preferably the bottom 2.
- Continue until you have filled the pot/bucket with all the prepared cuttings.
- Place it in a dappled sunlight spot for rooting. You want it to get sunlight but not be in the hot, burning sun.
- Keep it moist, but not a soppy mess!
- Watch and wait until you start to see new growth.
- If a stalk turns brown, make a frowny face and pluck that sucker out and throw it away!
I think that’s all I have to share for today.