Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plants for free!

I love, love, LOVE hydrangea! 
It's my favorite flower in the garden. And now that I have FINALLY figured out how to grow it here in south Texas, I went to a local nursery and purchased a gorgeous, healthy plant to add to the garden. In case you didn't know, hydrangea are expensive! I can't afford the five or six plants I'd like to have to fill my shade garden, soooo.... I'm propagating that many and more for FREE!
Propagating hydrangea is very easy.  Take a tender branch from the plant and cut it to a length of 4-6 inches.  Remove all the leaves but the top two.  Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder and then cut the top two leaves crosswise.  Stick the whole plant into a soil less medium (seed starting mix, vermiculite, or sand) and keep moist.  Not wet, but moist.  Fasten a plastic bag over the potted plant to retain moisture and set in a shady area.
In about 10 days you'll have roots!  Take the plant out of the plastic and continue to keep soil moist as your cutting grows.  Transplant to the garden or container after new growth starts.
It really is that simple!

I also wanted to propagate some lavender.  I am growing three varieties of lavender and wanted to start a large lavender garden on the side of the barn.  The process is almost the same:
Cut a segment of lavender and strip all the leaves off but the top few.  Dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone and place into your soil less medium.  Cover with plastic and allow to root.  Transfer to the garden when new growth appears.
I still have a lot to learn about plant propagation but so far I am hooked!  I can potentially have dozens more plants from just the purchase of one, and for a cheapskate frugal plant lover like me, it is very exciting stuff!



Rachel said...

You don't even need the growth medium, if you are willing to wait a year (more or less). Hydrangea branches, if put onto the soil, while still attached to the main plant, will grow roots and for another bush. Just weigh down the branch so it stays on/under some soil, keep it moist, and there ya go...

Anonymous said...

Berry plants will grow like this too if pinned down to the ground..if you need to make more of them! I had forgotten this till I read the other comment! :) Now to go out in the garden and do it!! :) :) Do you have a big garden going this year? We only have a small one this year. Health issues for both of us to get over and then onto a bigger one next year again hopefully. You are so knowledgable about medical herbs and such!!! Someday you will make an awesome mother-in-law for some lucky girl!! Sarah

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

Fun- I hope you keep us updated on the baby plant's progress! Thanks for sharing. :-)