Thanksgiving cactus with yellow anthers and sharp leaf edges
A popular blooming holiday plant is the “Holiday Cactus” which is an umbrella term to include the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) and the Thanksgiving cactus (S. truncata). These are not cacti at all but epiphytes from the Brazilian rainforest. In their native environment, they grow among tree branches, in the humid, shady jungles. Continue reading
Weigela roots coming out of container
In May I posted an article on propagating plants with stem cuttings. At the end of June, I checked on my cuttings which had been sitting in plastic bags on the deck, in the shade. I opened the bags and discovered that rosemary and weigela cuttings had roots coming out of the bottoms of the containers but the spirea had minimal roots.
I took them out of the bags and placed them in a very shady place and watered them well. I continued to watch and water because even though they had rooted, it was not a lot of roots to bring up the water they would need to compensate for the high rate of transpiration in the summer’s heat. After a few weeks, I moved them to a sunny place on the deck.
rosemary roots coming out of container
For the rest of the summer, I will keep them on the deck in containers. As they grow, I will pot them up in larger pots. In the fall, when the temperatures cool down and the plants have grown large enough to survive a transplant, I will put these in the back of the garden. This place is in full sun and usually I do not water with a hose so they will learn to survive on their own with rainwater. This is much like raising children and sending them off to college, but they will survive and next summer, after their freshmen year, they will thrive.
Weigela shrub, ready for stem cuttings
Plant propagation is just a fancy word for making more plants from what you have. I love to propagate the plants in my garden. To me it is magical that an entire shrub can be created from cutting six inches off the stem. Taking stem cuttings is an easy way to make more shrubs to fill in gaps in the garden or to share plants with gardening friends. Continue reading
Join me as I demonstrate how to multiply plants through simple techniques that you can do at home. Learn how to take stem cuttings and divide plants to save money and enhance your garden. Take home a starter plant and handout. To register for the “Plants & Design Workshop: Multiply Your Plants” on Saturday, March 30, 9:30 to 11:00 am, call Green Spring Gardens at (703) 642-5173 or register online at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/parktakes/ using code 586.37E6. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program has produced a series of 10 short videos on YouTube about plant propagation. Filmed in the Virginia Tech greenhouses, each video is about 4 minutes or less. Topics include seeding, transplanting, grafting, air layering, tomato grafting, and the many different types of plant division. These will be helpful as you begin to start seeds indoors now or if you are interested in dividing and multiplying your houseplants.
Posted in plants, seeds
Tagged air layering, cuttings, division, divisions, grafting, Master Gardener Program, Master Gardeners, plant propagation, seeds, transplanting, Virginia Cooperative Extension