Sunday, May 22, 2011

Propagate Good Times!

Propagate good times! Come on! Were going to propagate and have a good time! I am sure that I'm not the only person that sings this tune while taking stem cuttings to propagate new plants. There are a wealth of books and Internet sites that concern the proper way of cloning plants through stem cuttings and I do encourage you to peruse them. You will learn about soft cuttings (current year stems), hard cuttings (previous years’ growth), rooting hormones, rooting mediums, etc. Knowledge is power and these techniques will help you ensure a high degree of success. However, an over-abundance of information can lead to paralysis through analysis, where you don't take any actions because you are stuck trying to find the correct or best method of doing something. Sometimes you should just do it! In its simplest, propagating is cutting a bit off a branch or stem, stripping the leaves except for a few at the top, and placing it in container of soil or bottled water. Many plants and shrubs will give good results with this technique regardless of whether or not you are using soft or hard cuttings. If it doesn't work, you have only lost a cutting…

The pictures below show some red currant and black elderberry plants that I propagated by simply sticking stem cuttings into containers filled with either sand or potting soil. I save the containers that plants come in to propagate plants, but have also used empty Pringles cans. In my backyard or on top of my fridge there are always a few containers with cuttings rooting in them. It is a great way to extend your garden plants and save money. In the In addition, the rooted plants also make great gifts, particularly because they cost nothing!

Now get out there and propagate some good times! Out of curiosity, does anyone else sing “My Mycelium” to the tune of “My Sharona” when they are cultivating mushrooms?

A red currant plant that I rooted in a sand-filled juice carton

Red currant and black elderberry rooted in potting soil