The blooms of spring are venturing forth from their winter slumber. Of course this particular bloom along with 28 of his buddies are resting in my garage currently awaiting the moment when their rooted feet touch the soil of our yard. What do you think they are?
If you guessed purple leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera) you would be correct! As for why there are 29 little saplings in my garage...that may need some explaining! If you've been following my blog for a bit you know I am a bit of a propagation "nut." Which to me is a good thing! This is a bug that I share apparently with others like Melanie at Old Country Gardens (She has a very nice blog go stop by and say "hi" sometime!) This basically means I can't resist the opportunity to help make a new plant. The story of these 29 wayfaring plums began last fall when there were two plum trees that needed pruning in my parent's yard. They had some crossing branches that would have eventually worn the bark down to the cambium layer. It was definitely time to prune them. Once the bark is worn away the rest of the branch is most likely a goner. Instead of just throwing out all the branches I collected them, clipped them to the appropriate size and propagated them. In this case I left most of them about 8 inches long. I just did the same old technique for propagating cuttings I usually do. I did 29 of them because I wasn't sure how many would root. Well to my surprise I think they all did! Some of them like the one in the picture are even blooming in that storage unit for everything we call a garage.
Now what do I do with 29 purple leaf plums? I definitely don't want that many in my yard. A couple sure but they can sprout saplings very quickly from their fruit. I'll probably put a few up on the slope and maybe one on our border. I might use 4-5 at most. The rest I may take to a plant exchange or give to friends and neighbors who may want them. I've potted up five of them so far and the rest are still in their propagation medium. Some people use them for hedges since they are fast growing and sucker freely, but I prefer to view them as an ornamental tree. They sure do have pretty flowers in the spring or at least in my garage!
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Thursday, February 28, 2008
A Flower in the Garage (Prunus cerasifera)
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.