Butterfly Bush Cuttings Making Progress

Things are looking good for my butterfly bush cuttings. So far none have succumbed to damping off. Only one lost any leaves. One good sign of a cutting is when new growth starts to develop. As you can see on the closest cutting that new growth is starting to sprout. This usually means that roots have emerged! I'll leave them in the pot for a couple more weeks then check the root systems. If the roots are ready I'll pot them up into some small pots and keep the new growth trimmed through the winter to encourage more roots. If everything goes well they should be ready to plant in the spring.

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What did I do this summer?

I propagated plants! Propagating is a great way to increase your landscape plants cheaply. What could be better than cheap plants? This was the first summer I seriously experimented with rooting cuttings. Some plants can be propagated by division, some by stem and tip cuttings and others by root cuttings. What I did was mostly the stem and tip cutting types. Stem cuttings are pretty much what it sounds like: a section of the plant stem. The tip cutting is just as self explanatory: a section of the stem tip. The stem tips tend to be green wood and contain auxins that help to stimulate growth in the plant. In the past I have toyed with rooting willows and several easy to root house plants. This year I expanded my repertoire. I continued to do some willow cuttings, mostly for a deciduous hedge row to define our border, but I…

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Follow Up: Rosemary

The other day I wrote about layering rosemary plants. Layering is the process of propagation where roots are formed by placing the stem of the plant underneath rooting medium (soil) to allow it to root with the support of the parent plant. If you look closely at the picture to the left you can see small roots being formed at the base of the plant. These roots will continue to grow and will eventually be able to support their own plant.Rosemary grows very well outdoors in Tennessee. Yesterday while visiting my parents house for Thanksgiving dinner I took an updated picture of the rosemary. The picture on the left (it's the same one in the layering rosemary post) was taken a year ago and here it is now! Notice how the large rock in the first picture has been devoured by the spreading herb. Like I said, it grows well…

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Crazy Thought? Maybe Not! (Butterfly Bush Cuttings)

Last night I had a crazy thought "why not take a few last minute cuttings before the cold weather moves in for good?" The cuttings would need warmth to root and survive, so keeping them outside was not an option. I found a decorative pot that my wife bought a few years ago at a campus art sale back in college and filled it up with sand. Sand works great as a rooting medium for cuttings. Then I went out to my butterfly bush and took enough greenwood material to make 8 cuttings. I cut each of the cuttings to about 4 inches long with at least two nodes and a couple leaves. I pinched the growing tip from the top of each cutting and dipped the bottom of the cutting in water. Next I dipped the cutting into some powdered rooting hormone and inserted it into the sand. Finally…

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Layering Rosemary

One of the easiest ways to make a new plant is layering. Layering is where you allow the plant to create new roots on a branch while still connected to the mother plant. The advantage to layering is the connection to the mother plant. It continues to feed the offshoot branch allowing it to form the new roots to sustain itself. Many plants do this naturally and you don't have to do anything special to create the offshoot. Rosemary does this really well.If you want to help it along make a small cut into the branch being careful not to sever the branch then put a toothpick in the wound to keep it open. Finally use landscape pins to pin down the branch to the ground. With rosemary you could get away with only doing the last step. In a few months you will have new plants to pot up…

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