Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rainy Day Cuttings

Today and yesterday it rained. While it wasn't the nice steady soaking rain that every gardener dreams of it also wasn't the wimpy little sprinkles that tantalize the taste buds of the drought worried plant person. It was somewhere in between. Hopefully a little more rain will fall tomorrow as I can envision our tomatoes growing to the size of trees over night. Not really but one can dream!

The rain is great but where can a gardener garden when it is raining outside? The garage of course!



My seed starting lights are still up in the garage spotlighting the cuttings and remaining seedlings that are patiently (or maybe desperately) awaiting transplanting. Today I potted a few more of the cuttings I made. It didn't take long since there weren't many but it was one gardening chore easily accomplished during a rainy day.

The catmint cuttings I made a couple weeks ago are doing fantastic (on the left). Three little Walker's Low (Nepeta faassinii) cuttings were joined today with three more which brings me now to seven catmint plants (on right). If you ever run across catmint rub the leaves between your fingers and smell the scent that is left behind. This is one of those plants you can appreciate for its scent as well as its appearance.

Another experiment of mine was this little Silver Mound cutting. This artemesia is known for its silvery colored foliage and its mounding habit. Aptly named don't you think? Since this cutting worked I'll be trying a few more. These will help line the sidewalk garden either in place of the lavender I was planning or in addition to it.


I had to have more sedum. At the plant swap I traded for a 'Dragon's Blood' sedum. In order to complete my plans for the sedum garden I still need more 'Dragon's Blood' sedums to plant with the 'Blue Spruce' sedum. I took two cuttings last weekend and I was able to pot up these little dragons today but I'll still need to make a few more cuttings.


I also potted up some annual verbena cuttings. These new plants came from a $2 hanging planter of verbenas. In the pot there were 4-5 plants that needed some very basic care...like watering and deadheading. (Something the big box store caretakers don't really get into, but thanks to them I can save some money!) The hanging planter bounced back and I took these 4 cuttings. The roots come out at the nodes so if you want to quickly build a root system for annual verbena bury two nodes under your potting medium. The stem will grow two sets of roots and you will be much farther along. They don't take more than a few days with a rooting hormone application.

When you can't actually get into the garden having a garden in the garage can ease the anxiety of not being able to work in the garden. I must warn you though, it's not for everyone. If you like having a place to park your cars you may want to avoid using the garage for plants. I don't think our cars have ever been inside our garage...I need to build that greenhouse!

8 comments :

  1. Hi Dave, I have a Verbena that has a sort of pink bloom. Do you think I could take cuttings to make more plants. I would like to put them in my mailbox garden when I get it done. Also will they survive the winter & come back down here in Fl.?

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  2. Ah yes, the catmint is blooming here too. So pretty and good smelling!

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  3. Catmint is lovely especially the Walker's Low...you will have a nice bit of it.

    We were at the Zoo in St Louis and they have used it in a mass planting that looks stellar, naturally, I forgot to take any photos!

    Gail

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  4. Hi Dave,

    Your blog always motivates me to get out there and take some cuttings. The purple plant on my blog is Salvia lyrata 'Purple Knockout'. If you leave the bloom stalk on it will self sow nicely. I have quite a few seedlings now (maybe 100 total).

    We had so much rain yesterday that it's too wet to do anything in the garden. Maybe I'll get my scissors out and see what cuttings I can take :-)

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  5. Lola,

    I'm sure the cuttings would root fairly quickly. You could just put them in water on a windowsill and they should do fine. In Florida they might make it through the winter. I overwintered a couple of mine in the garage so they should make it in your garden.

    Tina,

    I think it's one of my current favorites.

    Gail,

    You should know by now that as a garden blogger it is your responsibility and duty to bring your camera and take pictures of all related plant material! ;)

    Thanks Melanie!

    I suspected the salvia lyrata but wasn't sure since the leaves of mine are quite wilty at the moment. I've trimmed it up to try to encourage it to put more energy into its recovery. I'm hoping it rebounds. The purple foliage would be nice near the silver mound and the Russian sage.

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  6. I think cuttings are such a great idea! And a huge $-saver, too!

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  7. Dave,
    Thanks for the tip. After reading your comment I checked your propagated plant list and there it was, Dragon's Blood Sedum. I am new to propagation, but have recently decided to take my gardening to the next level. I have several plants that I have started, now I'm adding Dragon's Blood to my cutting shelf. Thanks!

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  8. Machelle,

    You're welcome! Propagating plants is very interesting to me, I hope you find it to be lots of fun too. Free plants are always nice to have!

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