So many plants, so little time…

More is better right? One day I hope to have so many little plants that I can have garage sales for plants! I think that would be a great money maker, okay so let’s do this. Oh before we begin — the slide show at the end also walks you through this, visually.

One definition of propagation is multiplication or increase, as by natural reproduction. Taking a piece of a healthy plant and planting that piece to make yet another plant; a simple way of obtaining copies or clones of a plant you like. If only it were that simple! There are a few different ways to propagate as you will find when doing more research but my favorite is stem cutting and that is the focus of this update. I will show and tell you exactly how I do it and its results but know that there is a ton of professional advice out there to walk you through it as well. A great reference I am using for this post and do refer to is located at the bottom of this post for your convenience.

Find a plant you would like to propagate. There are official lists on the net about which plants work well and which don’t but you know what, I try whatever plant I want – and it’s true some grow and some don’t! It’s only a loss of your time because if it doesn’t grow you just toss the stem into your compost and try again! You can always try the same plant too – there are variables that could make it work the 2nd time so never give up!

Pruners or scissors work best when taking a cut or “slip” as my Dad would say. I am going to call them slips for future reference. Cut about ½ inch above a leaf node, they say roots develop more easily from the bottom portion of the stem between two nodes. Plan to plant this piece soon or you will need to put it in a water bucket if not planting right away. Also if you are out and want to take a slip from some place away from home be sure to wrap it in a wet paper towel and put it in a zip lock, it can stay in a fridge for up to a week.

When you are ready to plant there is also a lot of documentation on what type of soil to plant it in. For me, yup – a nice, good quality potting soil is what I use. I would also like to try sand and/or organic kitty litter they say both work very well but for now it’s potting soil.

Next you should get some root tone. It’s a white powder that helps your chances of this little slip growing into a plant of its own. You will find root tone at your local nursery – a pic of the one I have is below, but I am using the white bottle of tone my Dad gave me first so you’ll see both in the pics. Take the wet slip, dip it in the white powdered root tone, get it covered with tone about an inch or more – then tape the slip against the bottle to remove any excess. Take your other finger, pencil or screwdriver (the dollar store!) make a hole in a container of nice, new, dry potting soil – drop the slip in. Then water it easily and put it in the sun.

Remember this baby needs to be watered once a day – lightly and if it’s hot where you are water it at the end of the day too, but don’t wet the plant itself just so water reaches the tone. Now, if you pray – start!

You never know what plants will propagate and which won’t and as mentioned earlier if you try a plant and it doesn’t work then try it again if you want.

How will you know it didn’t work? Your little slip will die ….. simply remove it and try again! It’s very fun here are some pics from the plants I worked on today, enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How to propagate plants! Great Guide!

I will keep you up to date on these slips and how they do. I am hoping at least 2 or 3 out of the 10 (give or take) make it. It also makes you keep a keen eye out when visiting a friend that has a beautiful garden.

Special thanks to my sister Kerry for letting me slip her beautiful plants and photograph her yard!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brit on April 10, 2010 at 1:55 am

    This sounds like a great idea. Is spring the best time to cut slips? I wonder if this would work with my grapes – I could have a backyard full of grape vines (or you could too!). The possibilities seem endless.


  2. I will be the first in line at your plant sale!!!


  3. Brit: I have read a lot of info on this subject and really can’t figure out when is the best time. Some do say now but some say later in the season like near the end of summer is best so I guess it depends on the plant. I have found a lot of people say try now and if it doesn’t work try later LOL same for exactly where to make your cut on the plant – near new growth? Or near older growth on the plant – it’s tough and with all the variables it’s best to probably just try it and see what works, but honestly who knows if exactly that will work next time 🙂 I can already tell a few of mine aren’t going to make it but I do have the best luck with Kerry’s basil. Do you like basil? Kerry has the best basil that I have propagated and propagated LOL it’s so good to make pesto with – have you ever? Also we could figure out what works and then give each other plants 🙂 YaY! I am hoping some of my seedling zuke’s grow nicely so I can give you guys one or two they are suppose to be beautiful round zuke’s.

    Kerry: You Rock! But you get my plants free LOL because they are babies of yours!!


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