Starting Japanese Maple Seeds

While the weather outside resembles that of the arctic I spent a few minutes starting Japanese maple seeds. I had two varieties of tree that I saved seed from this fall, 'Sango Kaku' and 'Bloodgood' (Acer palmatum). Both types of Japanese maples are fairly common and can make good root stock for other, more unique Japanese maple varieties. One of these days I'll get around to doing some tree grafting but before I do I need some root stock maples. Starting Japanese Maple Seeds There are several good ways to start Japanese maple seeds so please note that what I do here is just one possible way. I began with a presoak to determine the best viable seeds. The way the seed soaking works is that the viable seeds tend to sink while the less viable ones float. Unfortunately I had a bunch of floaters. I had over 15 seeds…

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Plants to Propagate in Winter

Winter is officially here! If you're reading this post you are probably thinking what I can do in the garden in winter? Well if you're a fan of plant propagation you should try some winter plant propagation! What plants you can propagate and at what time of the year largely depends on the type of wood you select for the cuttings. At this time of year we are looking at hardwood cuttings which can be taken from a number of different types of plants. Below is a list of a few plants to propagate in winter. Plants to Propagate in Winter Arborvitae Caryopteris Crape Myrtle Dogwood (Cornus) Forsythia Fruit Trees (Peaches, Plums, and many others) Grape Vines Roses Russian Sage (Perennial/sub-shrub) Viburnum Willow Yew This list is not extensive! In general try hardwood cuttings from deciduous plants in the winter. My thought is if you are intending to prune something,…

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Hydrangea Propagation (Natural Layering)

Hydrangeas are fantastic garden plants! The flowers are beautiful but even when not in bloom hydrangeas can be a well formed shrub in the garden. Yesterday while walking through the garden I found a hydrangea that had rooted itself on the ground. This is called layering. Layering is a method of plant propagation where you can encourage roots roots to form. You can encourage layering but many plants will do this naturally on their own with a low hanging branch. Below is a little information on hydrangea propagation through layering. Hydrangea Propagation through Layering To layer a hydrangea branch simply take a low hanging branch and make sure a node makes contact with the soil. Then pin it with a rock or other heavy object. In a few weeks you can come back to check it and see if roots have emerged. Once they have take the hydrangea branch and…

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Plant Propagation Cloner

I came across a video today on Youtube that I thought was a fantastic demonstration of how to build a plant propagation cloner! This is a DIY project I would love to try when I have a bit more time. If you have tried something like this please let us know in the comments on how the project went, any changes you might have made, and how successful you've been at rooting cuttings with the cloner! Plant propagation cloners help to keep the roots hydrated which is one of the major issues with propagating plants. Have you tried to build your own plant propagation cloner?

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Oak Leaf Hydrangea – Garden Favorites

Over the years I have grown many plants. I have a bit of a collectors attitude toward my garden and pick out unique plants as much as possible. Some of those plants haven't done well for me, but other plants have simply been amazing. I thought it would be a good idea to go back and look at some of those plants that have been consistently good garden plants. Today I'm starting with the oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). The oak leaf hydrangea is an amazing plant that can tolerate shade to part sun here in Tennessee. The botanical name Hydrangea quercifolia when broken down describes the oak leaf hydrangea perfectly. The first word is obviously hydrangea which is classifying the plant in that family. "Quercus" is the oak family and "folia" means "leaf". Together they make quercifolia which would mean oak leaf and reflects the shape of the leaf.…

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Growing Buckeye from Seed (Aesculus pavia)

A couple years ago I bought a fantastic native plant at a local native plant nursery. It was a red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) and is great for attracting everyone's favorite tiny garden visitor, the hummingbird. The flower clusters are red (you probably expected that from the name: red buckeye) and tubular. The red buckeye grows best in partial shade as an understory tree. I planted ours near the shed in an area that receives shade most of the day. It had some blooms this year and I discovered today it had produced four ripe seeds to plant this fall. Which of course meant I now had to try growing buckeye from seed! Growing buckeye from seed: I've been watching the seeds form over the summer. Today the seed pods were splitting to reveal light brown seeds almost the size of a golf ball. The outer coating was smooth and shiny.…

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Growing Plants from Hardwood Cuttings

I've always been one to enjoy experimenting with plant propagation in the garden. This past weekend, since the weather was so pleasant, I went on  hardwood cutting spree.  Hardwood cuttings are very easy to do. The success rate varies quite a lot depending on the type of plants you are trying to propagate. I took around 40-50 cuttings of 4 types of Japanese maples, red trig dogwood, peach trees, viburnums, and hydrangeas. How to Make Hardwood Cuttings Taking hardwood cuttings is a very simple procedure. Just follow these general steps below and if you have questions just leave a comment in the comment section! When to Take Hardwood Cuttings: Hardwood cuttings should be taken after the plants have gone dormant which usually happens after a hard freeze.  You need a few things to get started: Container, Propagation Medium, Rooting Hormone, Sharp Pruners or Knife, Water, and of course the material…

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Propagating Grape Vines Through Greenwood Cuttings – Video

I took a short video today of some grape vine cuttings I'm attempting to root. Grape vines root easily from greenwood cuttings or from hardwood cuttings. I prefer the greenwood cutting method just because they seem to root a lot faster and I get the pleasure of faster gratification! Hopefully in about 6 weeks I'll have some rooted grape vine cuttings that I can pot up then plant this fall. Here's the video, thanks for watching!   Rooting Grape Vines from Greenwood Cuttings

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Germinating Japanese Maple Seeds in a Plastic Bag

I love a nice Japanese maple! Who doesn't? There are Japanese maples  with variegated leaves, ones with deep burgundy colors, others with interesting shaped leaves that are highly dissected and many other kinds. The fall color on a Japanese is almost always guaranteed to be something special.  Their highly ornamental nature makes them very popular trees in the landscape. Last summer I gathered up quite a few seeds from a 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) located in my mom's garden with the idea that I would grow more Japanese maples from seed. Collecting Japanese Maple Seeds I collected the seeds from the tree when they had turned reddish in color which was on July 10, 2012. I placed them in a plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel (important: not soaking wet, just slightly damp).  Then I put the bag of Japanese maple seed in the refrigerator to stratify.  Stratification is the cold…

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5 Shrubs to Propagate in Late Fall or Winter (Hardwood Cuttings)

We're entering the middle of November which means not only is that turkey get closer to being roasted but it's also time for hardwood cuttings!  There are quite a few plants that will easily grow from hardwood cuttings and are well worth trying for any budget minded gardener.  Free plants are always a good thing right?  Well unless they're weeds...  Anyway today we'll look at a few shrubs you can easily make more of over the winter that have high chances of success.  That's not to say you will be 100% successful but these shrubs are typically very easy to root. First though what are hardwood cuttings?  Hardwood cuttings are taken from branches that have had some time to develop a brown outer coating on the bark.  The branches have gone dormant and have dropped their leaves which allows them to focus all their energy on root development.  With hardwood…

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