03 December 2007

Exciting Days in Winter Gardening

Diamond Frost Euphorbia, Kings Crown Dicliptera and Wandering Jew all took root this week in water and were transplanted into little pots of well draining soil.

Highlights of propagation
OPTIMAL CUTTING MEDIUM
It's actually better to start cuttings in a well-draining, moist, combination of sand, moss, potting soil but I was in a hurry when I started the process.
LIGHT
Neither dark nor bright light helps cuttings root. Diffused light makes the healthiest plants at this stage.
TEMPERATURE
Temperature recommendations vary but 70-degrees F is usually the goal. When the air is cold, the soil can be 10-degrees cooler than the air in the room.
ROOTING HORMONE
Sometimes I use Rootone and sometimes I don't. A few of things I've learned about it: 1) Using too much can cause as many problems as not using it; 2) Nurseries use a type of rooting hormone we home gardeners cannot buy; 3) Don't stick the cutting into the bottle because any dampness transferred into the bottle can ruin it.
EASE OF PROPAGATION
Some plants are easy to duplicate; others resist.
Easy to propagate from cuttings: Begonia, Chinese Evergreen, Coleus, Jade Plant, Cordyline, Geranium, Ivy, Pothos, Swedish Ivy and Philodendron.

I read an interview with a famous gardener. When asked which plants to take cuttings from and which to leave to the professionals, he said, "Try everything for the fun of it."

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