My husband and I have been doing tons of work to our landscaping and I am really enjoying the way things are looking so far. Outdoor lawn and gardening (well, not so much the lawn part) is so much fun to me. I love planting and watching things grow, trimming and pruning to encourage the beautiful shape, and molding my environment into something gorgeous. One of my current projects is rooting some plants that I'd like to add to The Twin Pines Estate landscape. A few weeks ago I started a piece of hydrangea, some cleyera, and some tea olive cuttings. Today I cut more plants to add to the "collection". I've read a few different ways to accomplish this, but let me explain what I'm doing, and eventually I will let you know how successful it is:
Things you'll need:
1. Rooting hormone - It's not absolutely necessary, because I've rooted plants without it before. BUT, it definitely increases your odds of success, and because some plants are more difficult to root than others, why not?
2. Cutting shears - Really sharp ones... and clean them prior to cutting.
3. Established plants - The fun thing about rooting plants is that you can go to your friend's and family's homes and take clippings from their plants. Once the plant is placed in your yard, you'll always have a piece of your friend's and family's home with you. :-) Or you can always just use your own plants to make more plants!
4. Containers with sand - I use plastic containers from the kitchen and sand from the home improvement store.
The cutting above came from my parent's house. I went to visit earlier today and decided to take some cuttings from their bushes while I was there. Before I left for the visit, I took several paper towels and folded them up neatly into a Ziplock bag with some water. This and my secondary jar of rooting hormone went with me. I cut several forsythia, some holly, a rose cutting, and some camellia. The forsythia is known to root well and so are roses, but I don't know for sure about the holly or the camellia. It doesn't hurt to try. As you can see above, my cuttings are about 4 or 5 inches long. You may be able to see that they are not new growth, but not woody either. I have removed all the leaves except for two or three at the top. I did this while on site. I made the cut, removed the leaves, dipped the ends in rooting hormone making sure I coated the nodes, and wrapped them in my wet paper towel and placed them in the unsealed Ziplock bag to stay in a wet, humid environment. Doing this keeps them happy during transport until you can get them in their sandy containers.
1. Take your cutting from this years growth.... not new, but not woody.
2. Remove all the leaves, except for a few at the top (left). If you have chosen a broad leafed plant, like a hydrangea, cut the leaves in half (right). You want the plant to focus on making roots, not maintaining its leaves. This also prevents the cutting from losing too much water through transpiration.
3. Find the nodes of the plant. This will be where your leaves were removed and where the roots will likely form. You will want to make sure these are coated with your rooting hormone.
4. Dip the end in rooting hormone, making sure to coat one or two nodes.
5. Place your cutting in the wet sand, making sure that the entire portion coated in hormone is underneath the sand.
6. This may be an optional step, but a good idea to do it anyway. Place a bag over your containers to increase the humidity around your cuttings. You don't want it to be airtight though, so don't seal it.
7. Place your containers in an area that will be bright, but not in direct sun. Here I have placed them in a window, but the light will be filtered by the curtain. I have also kept them on my shady porch, but it's best to not put them in too much heat (or cold). Since it's been in the 90's in Georgia and will continue to be, I've moved them inside. Just don't let dogs eat them. Or cats.
Everything after this is the part that I am not so sure about, but will keep you posted. You'll want to check them in a few weeks to see if they are forming roots. Once they start to root, you can move them to potting soil and begin treating them somewhat like a normal potted plant. It will still be a while before you can plant them outside. This is the part that I need to figure out the details on, so check back with me.... it's a learning experience. You can see that I have roots on my hydrangea cutting. I will be moving this to potting soil very soon!!
I'm very excited about my little farm of cuttings. Please comment below if you have any tips to share with me! Or just wish me luck!!
Thanks for reading!!!
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