Saturday, September 13, 2008

How to propagate annuals in fall

About two months before the projected first frost day for your area it's time to start collecting cuttings to propagate some annuals for next year's garden and planters.

Plugs or cell trays are your best choice for large quantity of cuttings, otherwise any small, clean container with drainage holes will do.

Soilless seed-starting mix drains well, is disease free and works really well with rooting hormone. In my experience, this is by far the most full-proof combo for successful start of any kind of cuttings.

Cut the top 4 to 6 inches from the healthiest branches of chosen plant. Place cuttings in water and plant as soon as possible.

Poke a hole into well watered soil, strip the cutting off the first two to four sets of leaves (these wounds will form new roots).

To promote branching, pinch off the top set of leaves.

Cuttings with large leaves require an extra step. Cut their leaves in half to make sure their stem can take up enough water for the new plant to root and grow.

Dip the bare stem of the cutting in water first and then in rooting hormone, tamp gently to remove excess hormone and finally insert cutting in the soil.

Keep cuttings away from direct sun.

To add extra boost, some sources recommend misting newly planted cuttings with water, mixed with a splash of seaweed solution - twice a day for two to four weeks.

A piece of plastic or burlap over cuttings will reduce evaporation.

Water your cuttings when the soil becomes dry and transplant them into 3-inch pots before they become rootbound.


No comments:

Daria's World - blog about people and things that matter the most

Daria's World - blog about people and things that matter the most