Potting Up

I was able to get outside this afternoon and do a little potting with some cuttings that had rooted. It’s a constant process right now since as soon as one batch gets rooted I start some more. You never know if you will have enough! Sometimes you give away the plants to friends and family, other times the little plants get damaged by the sun, disease, or insects. It pays to have a few extra plants on hand to pop in the garden when you need them.

Here’s the group that I potted. On the top tray there are five Russian Sage cuttings and one ‘May Night’ Salvia. The salvia was the only one of several cuttings I made that rooted. The other cuttings are starting to root but don’t have enough roots for potting.

In the bottom tray I have five more Russian sage cuttings and three ‘East Friesland’ Salvias. I had to use two different trays since I ran out of the right sized square pots to fit this tray. With the Russian sage I’ve noticed that if you remove the bottom two leaves of the cutting you can plant the cutting deep like I do tomatoes. The Russian sage will root all along the stem and create a stronger root system. Of course this assumes that your cutting is long enough to remove the bottom two leaves and still have adequate foliage on the cutting.

Here’s a little hosta I potted up. It was an offshoot of another hosta in the shade garden that I thought would be better off babied a little until it was large enough to play with the other hostas. It’s an unnamed variety that I got in a box somewhere last year. Most of the time those box deals don’t work out too well. Those hostas came up much better this year than they did last year.

I did a few other things like planting daylilies, transplanting sunflowers, suckering tomatoes, and some general watering. The daylilies came from the swap. I’ll save a post for them when they bloom. The sunflowers came from our birdfeeder. If the birds think they liked them in the feeder just wait till they get some fresh sunflower seeds!

6 Replies to “Potting Up”

  1. Good morning Dave, How is that albino hosta doing? Good I hope. I am thinking about it because of this hosta you potted up. I am one of those gardeners who is very bad when it comes to potting up cuttings. I just leave them in the original starting container and pot them directly in the garden. They do ok but the roots are a bit shocked. Happy gardening!

  2. Hi Dave, you take more cuttings than any gardener I have ever known. That is wise, that way you don’t damage the host plant too much. I used to divide everything that came home with me, wanting more plants, but that was not always, make that never, a good idea. Gardening is about patience, isn’t it? Good luck with your cuttings, all good ones to make more of.

  3. Dave, I was in the yard pulling weeds today and got some of the thistle in my finger. I thought about what you said about your little one and the stickers…

  4. Tina,

    No albino hosta here, you probably mean the little one form the swap. It’s doing good it just needs some growth. I’ve tried planting directly into the ground and cuttings usually die. Potting them up gives them time to grow good strong roots before they are faced with harsh realities of life in the garden. Plus they are mobile. If the weather looks really bad or they are getting too much sun I can move them.


    I just have so many areas to plant that I have to watch the bottom dollar. The cuttings will increase what I can do without increasing the budget. I did divide some asters last year as soon as I bought them and got about 10-11 plants out of 4-5 plants. They did OK.


    Ouch, beware of thistle! The finches like it but you won’t!

  5. Hi,
    I'm new arround here bur I have some dire need of help as I have found an albino shoot oof one of my hostas and have no idea what to do with it. At first I thought it was a leaf that had a terrible time with the recent relocate it was subjected to and went all white and limp but then I noticed all kinds of other leaves come out all white and very lively. I would looooove to have it all on it's own in a special little corner surrounded by delicate little pastel flowers but I don't know how well it would do away from its' parent plant…any ideas? Thanks!

    1. Nie,

      It sure sounds like an interesting hosta! What you have may be a sport of the hosta and may in fact stay with that coloration. However that isn't a sure thing. To separate it from the other parts of the plant carefully dig up the whole plant, wash away the soil so you can see the roots, then track the albino foliage to the crown and work your way gently to the roots that are attached. Once you find them separate the sections as carefully as possible from the rest of the plant. I recommend doing this in the shade and in the evening to give the plant time to recover overnight. It shouldn't be much more difficult than dividing a hosta which is done all the time.

      Keep in mind though that sports can revert and there is no guarantee that what you have found will return the same next year – although that possibility is strong. Good luck!

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