Monday, July 19, 2010

I should be in the Garden but...

There are so many things to do this time of year in the Garden, but I have yet to begin. I can find all kinds of excuses, (i.e it's too hot to breathe outside, the bugs are so bad and I hate being bitten, I will do the cuttings tomorrow etc.)
July is the best time of year to make cuttings and propagate new plants. By this time, the new spring growth has toughened up a little and there is still plenty of warmth to help the cuttings get off to a good start.
One of the best ideas I have come across for doing a lot of cuttings in a small space is called a Forsythe Pot. I don't have a clue who came up with this method, but it is incredible. Some claim it is almost foolproof.
The way to construct it is simple. I use a large 10-14 inch pot and fill it to within about an inch of the top with a very light propagating mixture. Some use plain vermiculite, others regular potting soil, but you really need something that is well aerated and lightweight. Next, use a small ( 4-6") terra cotta clay pot that hasn't been glazed in any way. Place a cork in the drainage hole of the small pot and settle it in the center of the larger pot. Keep the small pot full of water and stick the cuttings between the two pots. The water will seep through the sides of the small pot and maintain the moisture level of your rooting medium. Make sure to leave enough space between your cuttings to allow good airflow and then set the whole system in a shady spot where you can keep an eye on it and make sure the inner pot is full of water. Depending on the plant type you are propagating, you should have rooted plants within 6-8 weeks. I have been successful rooting Camellia, Azalea, Althea, Bottlebrush and a host of other plants this way as well.
Here is a tutorial I found that you may also find helpful.
I'm off to cut some chocolate vines and banana shrub and maybe some brugmansia too. If i get too hot, I'll come back inside and make some earrings I have been thinking about.
Happy Rooting.


Campbell Jane said...

Beautiful flowers!

Post a Comment

I love comments. Say Hi and let me know you were here.