Plant propagating techniques are simply a means of increasing the number of new plants from existing plants. This is an affordable way to increase your container plants while helping your existing plants to prosper.
When you use plant propagation techniques you are creating plants of the same variety and species as the original plant. You are not creating hybrid plants as these are developed by plant breeding.
Why Use Plant Propagating Techniques?
Plant propagation is an easy way to increase your plant stock. This is an affordable way to grow your container gardens. This is especially important if you have purchased an expensive plant and wish to have more of it.
Plants propagated at home, conditioned to the home and local environment, usually do better than plants grown in greenhouses and commercial nurseries that are brought into the home.
By propagating your plants, you will have plenty of stock to exchange with your gardening friends. You can also keep plants on hand for gift giving, especially if your plants are rare or expensive.
When you propagate plants, you will always have some on hand for donations to your favorite causes when they are having plant sales. You can also hold your own plant sale in your yard or garage to make money that can be used to buy more containers and other garden supplies.
One of the easiest genre of plants to propagate are the succulents. Use this information about Succulent Plant Propagation to make more of these intriguing and fascinating plants. – This link opens in a new window.
How Do I Propagate Plants?
The major plant propagation techniques for established container plants are layering, cuttings, and division. Here are directions for each type of plant propagation.
Plant Propagating Techniques – Layering
There are 2 types of layering, stem layering and air layering. Stem layering is used mainly for vining plants such as honeysuckle, wisteria, and clematis. Stem layering is a technique that involves pinning down part of the stem into soil so that roots form at the point where the stem is attached to the soil.
Prepare a pot with potting soil or clear a space in the same container your plant is planted in.
Choose a long stem that will reach the pinning area easily
On the underside of the stem, scrape off a little of the outer bark where you intend to pin the stem.
Peg the stem down securely into the soil with a piece of wire or twist tie.
Once the stem is rooted, sever the newly rooted stem and plant in it’s own pot.
Air Layering Plants
Plants that have grown out of bounds or become leggy and ungainly can be re-shaped and new plants can be propagated by air layering the ends of the shoots. In air layering, instead of cutting off the stem, it is notched and left on the stem.
When done properly, roots will form on the notched stem and a new plant will be ready to be re-potted in a very short amount of time. This will do no damage to the original plant, and often helps the plant become more vigorous because it helps shape the plant into a more pleasing shape by removing leggy stems and branches.
Plant Propagating Techniques – Cuttings
Propagating plants by taking cuttings is the easiest propagation technique for container gardening plants. Prepare a pot for your cuttings using commercial potting soil or a special soiless cutting mix.
Choose a non-flowering stem and cut a stem 3-6 ” long. Remove leaves from the lower half of the stem. Put some rooting hormone in a small dish. Wet the end of your cutting and roll in in the rooting hormone. Knock off excess powder. Make a hole in your potting soil with a chopstick and insert the cutting into the soil. The reason for making the hole is to prevent the stem from breaking by pushing it roughly into the soil.
You can place 4-6 cuttings in the pot, depending on the size of the pot. Firm the soil around the cutting. Water well. You can speed the growth of roots by covering the pot with a plastic bag supported by a wire hoop that can be made with a coat hanger.
Plant Propagating Techniques – Division
Vigorous growing perennials and herbs can be propagated by division. Dwarf day lilies, hardy geraniums, and english daisies are some of the perennials grown in containers that should be divided every 2-3 years. Most herbs grown in pots also benefit from regular division.
Lift the clumps from the containers. Wash the roots so you can easily see them. Carefully pull the roots apart or separate them with a garden fork.
Cut out the old woody center and trim away any damaged roots.
Re-pot the root sections into containers using fresh potting soil.
Learn and use these plant propagating techniques and you’ll be on your way to being able to have all the plants you desire for your container garden. You’ll no longer avoid expensive plants because you’ll know you can not only reproduce them, you can also exchange them for other plants of equal value with your gardening buddies. Before you know it, you’ll have a container garden that is the envy of the neighborhood.