Thursday, July 2, 2009

Propagation - softwood, hardwood, and seeds

Hardwood cuttings are taken in the winter from deciduous plants. This past February, I stuck cuttings of figs, mock orange, forsythia, and a few others. The mock orange was decimated by tent caterpillars after it rooted and has died. The forsythia and figs need to be potted soon. I might do that today before I go to work.

The method is simple. Take cuttings from dormant plants, dust the bottom end with rooting hormone, stick in a well draining soil (1/2 sand, 1/2 Lowe's cheap topsoil), and wait.





Softwood cuttings can be done in April and June here in NC. These were stuck 3 weeks ago. All of the hydrangea cuttings rooted. Only a few of the others have rooted, including a beefsteak sucker. They were potted this morning. I'll keep them in the basement under my lights for another couple of weeks. It's too hot and dry to put them outside just yet. I need more roots.

I used the cloner for these, although you can use the baggie method or container method I've used to root gardenias and roses.







The easiest way to propagate many plants is through seed collection. Wintersowing the seeds is simple. There's a link on the sidebar.

Melampodium seed. I didn't collect these, just tossed them back into the garden where I want more. This works best in areas with no mulch.





Forget Me Nots. Again, tossed back into the garden. In another week or so, I'll pull the plants out and shake them along the edges of the beds.





Salvia subrotunda. I will be collecting these seeds. This salvia is over 5' tall and has shown no problems with wilt, unlike the salvia splendens (Yvonne's salvia, which I will also collect later).





Coreopsis "Mahogany Midget". Seeds collected last week are laying in a coffee filter to dry. This time of year, I have seeds all over the house.





Other seeds I'm waiting for are being noted below.

Rudbeckia. Seeds were collected from Autumn Colors and wintersown this January.


Monarda didyma.



Blue agastache.



Monarda didyma.



Yvonne's salvia. Over 4' tall and still growing.



Zinnias



Esther's sunflower.



Monarda citriodora 'Lambada'



Coreopsis "Full Moon"



It goes without saying there are others I'm waiting for, like datura inoxia.

12:01pm - the figs and forsythia are potted. The figs had only a few roots, but hopefully enough to make it on their own. The soil was bone dry and yet they were still alive. The forsythia had lots of roots. I expect them to make it. I'll plant the forsythia in the new shrub border this fall. The figs may or may not be planted. If they aren't, they'll be traded for other rooted cuttings this winter.

4 comments:

cat said...

thank you so much for the tutorial! exactly what i was hoping for..:) i'm going to attempt to collect from some of my healthier plants and see what happens..:)

i'd love to get in on some of your rubeckia and coreopsis seeds if you care to share. jason has bride of barbados seeds he wants to send you as well.

thanks again!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Cat, I usually start trading in August. I'll be sure to let you know then what I have available. I always take my seeds out first and then share the rest. I only keep what I can plant and the rest goes around the country. It looks like I have more of those brown rudbeckias coming in too. I hope so, they're my favorite so far this year with huge 4" blooms.

Jim-The Gaudy Garden said...

Tom, the head gardener at Monticello (the Jefferson house) uses Hartz Kitty Litter to root all the soft wood cuttings. He has a 100% success rate. So many ways to accomplish the same thing. Very interesting post.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I'm assuming it's not a clumping cat litter. I'll have to check it out. Moisture and air are the main components of rooting anything.