More Ways To Propagate Your Plants

Published: 27th April 2009
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Leaf-bud Cuttings: - These are made from half-ripened wood and consist of one leaf with a dormant bud at its base and also a portion of the stem. They are planted in the same way as stem cuttings, but with the leaf and bud just above the surface of the rooting medium. This type of cutting is used particularly for the propagation of camellias and some other evergreens. It has the advantage of providing a greater number of young plants from one piece of growth than are by stem cuttings.

Bud or Eye Cuttings: - These are similar to leaf-bud cuttings but with no leaf attached, and are made from dormant ripened wood in autumn or winter. Ornamental and fruiting vines are propagated from this type of cutting. Make each cutting of woody stem with a single dormant bud or eye about 1 1/2 inch (38mm) long. Take off a strip of bark and wood on the side opposite to the bud, and then insert the cutting on its own in a small pot of potting compost with the bud just at soil level.

Leaf Cuttings: - Many plants can be propagated from leaf cuttings these include Begonias, gloxinias, saintpaulias, streptocarpus and echeverias. Remove the leaf from the parent plant with the leaf stem attached and, after cutting the end of the stem cleanly, insert it into the compost or sand so that the leaf blade lies flat along the surface. After the roots have formed a young plantlet will grow from the base of the cut leaf stalk.

Root Cuttings: - There are several plants both shrubby and herbaceous that can be propagated by root cuttings; perennial phlox, verbascum, hollyhock, romneya, eryngium, gaillardia, anchusa and Oriental poppy to name a few. Lift a complete plant during the dormant period and cut sections of the fleshy roots into pieces about 2 to3 inch (5-7.5cm) long. Insert the root cuttings into pots or new planting locations. Large quantities of cuttings of the same kind can be tied into bundles and placed in sand or soil to root.

Pipings: - using pieces of the young tip growth called pipings easily propagates Carnation and pinks. This type of cutting does not require trimming. Hold the growth or shoot in one hand and then pull out the tip of the shoot with the other hand. Insert the shoot in sandy soil around the edge of a pot and place in a sheltered location. Alternatively place shoots into a jar of water. The water should cover only the lower third of the shoot, allow roots to form before planting.

Division: - This is the simplest method of increasing stock, particularly when it is not possible or wise to propagate by seeds. Many plants require a shoot or young growth with roots attached in order to form another plant that will be exactly the same as the parent.

The division of most plants is carried out during early spring when growth is active, and it is only necessary to retain sufficient rhizome or underground stem to supply the immediate needs of the divided portion until it has become established. Shrubby plants can only be divided if they have a compact habit and produce new growth by branching or making suckers from below ground.

Tubers: - Tuberous-rooted plants, such as peonies, require special treatment and careful handling when being divided.

Dividing peonies should be done in early autumn. The eyes or growth buds can easily be seen on the tubers, and each division should consist of an eye and a tuber. If large numbers of a certain variety are needed, plant them out in well prepared soil in a nursery bed with the eye about 2 inch (5cm) below the soil level.

For small numbers, lift an established crown and divide it into several portions by using two hand forks back to back, and pushed well between the roots. Gently lever them apart to avoid snapping too many rootlets. Peonies in particular do not like root disturbance and several years will often elapse before the divided crowns will flower freely.

Offsets: - Another large group of plants, which includes tulips, daffodils, crocuses, gladioli and bulbous irises, produce their annual growth and flowers from a bulb or corm. These plants do produce seeds and can be propagated by them, but usually three or five years elapse before the seedlings reach flowering size. However, these plants also produce offsets, complete but smaller new plants that are produced along side and attached to the parent bulb, these can be used in preference to seed.

To learn about bermuda grass care and grass tips, visit the Plants And Flowers website.

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