Monday, July 2, 2012

Plant propagation

I cannot believe it is July 2nd already! I said that on June 1st too, time seems to be going at warp speed which I've been told is a sign of aging. Oh well, I'm going to choose to believe I am like a very fine wine that just keeps getting better but I do feel like I need to catch up with myself because this year will be gone before I know it if I don't get in gear.

Last year we acquired a minimal nursery license that will allow us to sell up to $1000 in plants each year and while I don't think I will sell that many plants, I do want to start propagating and selling plants from Gidget's Garden. I refuse to let the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing slow me down in any way and so far that plan seems to be working. I've successfully propagated lots of basil and some scented geraniums but those are easy. 

This weekend I decided to try something slightly more difficult. Lavender still falls in the easy category but it's not as simple as just putting a cutting in well drained soil or rooting in water like some other plants are. Everything I read about it indicated that a rooting hormone would be required to have success. I also read that well draining soil is essential which I have already learned from previous attempts to propagate plants. Some suggestions were to use straight perlite until your cutting develops roots but perlite can be expensive so I chose to mix perlite with cactus mix which also drains very well. A heavy soil may cause your cutting to rot rather than root.
Here's the Cactus mix and perlite I used. 

And the container I used to mix the two.

This is a rooting hormone powder
I hacked the heck out of the huge lavender plant that is taking over the front yard and the next morning I started cleaning up the pieces and choosing the right ones to try and plant. I took pieces that were about 3-6 inches long and cleaned off the lower few leaves leaving a stem that I could dip in rooting hormone and then plant in my soil mix. The nodes where the leaves were should create roots if all goes well. I tried a mix of woody pieces and more tender ones because I got mixed reviews about which would work best. 

Some of the lavender hopefuls. 
We have lots of lemon rose geranium ready to sell.

We also have some variegated geraniums and succulent cuttings that we hope will be ready to go soon.

Basil is easy to propagate by placing cuttings in water and planting them in good soil after roots develop.

Gidget wonders if it's possible to propagate more birds. 

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