Even though the summer is upon us it’s still a good time to propagate plants. The key is to keep cuttings moist and at a steady temperature until roots have formed. Then they can be easily acclimated to outdoor temperatures. I do all of my cuttings inside our house on the windowsills or under a grow light to keep the temperatures steady. In the spring I’ve used my garage but the temperature is too hot for the cuttings to make it at this time of year.
Over the past two days I’ve potted up 24 new plants. To the right you can see the catmint (Nepeta faassinii ‘Walker’s Low’). These five rooted very easily and I potted them into 4 inch pots. I’ll pinch the top growth on them for a little while to encourage a bushy habit and before too long there will be some new perennials ready to plant.
A few weeks ago I mentioned taking some cuttings of a lacecap variegated hydrangea. I took four cuttings and managed to get all four rooted! I’ll be cautious before planting these in the yard since the bunnies ate the hydrangea I propagated last year. I want the root systems of each hydrangea to be fully self-sustaining so that any loss of leaves could easily be recovered. This makes 6 hydrangeas I’ve rooted this summer.
I also potted up 12 chrysanthemums of various kinds. I know that six of them are purple but I’m not sure what the colors others are. Since they came from our yard they could be orange, yellow, or red. I’ll just have to wait and see but I suspect orange. That’s a fun part of gardening, the surprises!
Here’s another of my favorite perennials that I can’t resist rooting, ‘Purple Homestead’ Verbena! I wrote about this colorful ground cover perennial a couple weeks ago. The one in the picture below was a cutting from last summer. It is thriving in our front porch garden so well that I will need to move a daylily that is being covered by the verbena’s foliage.