AtLogee’s, we propagate plants or simply stated we take cuttings from our mother plants and make baby plants. For the home gardener, learning how to propagate plants can be a fun and exciting process!
A picture of one of our propagation greenhouses shows how this time of year the “benches” (growing tables) are filled with little plants waiting to be moved into 2 1/2 inch pots and then shipped out the door.
Also, pictured is one of our lead growers, Nathaniel Howe, who will be giving a series of propagation classes at Logee’s, starting this weekend. If you can’t make the classes then here are a few quick tips on how to propagate your own plants at home.
Propagation at Logee’s is done by vegetative cutting, air layering, grafting and tissue culture. For the home gardener, the easiest way to propagate is by vegetative cutting.
First you must choose the cutting wood. We recommend tip cutting or stem length cutting. 1-Tip cutting- simply cut the growing tip of the plant and make sure it has 2-3 mature leaves 2-Stem length cutting- the stem is cut into segments leaving 1 or 2 leaf nodes plus some stems to go under the soil. Strip off all the leaves that go below the soil.
Two Methods to Propagate 1-Traditional- Put the stem node below the soil level. This allows a sprout or growth to emerge from below the soil level, which can produce a multi-stemmed plant. Fibrous begonias do best with this method. 2-Root Gel or Liquid Hormone- Dip the cutting end into root gel or the hormone. This initiates callus. Callus is the formation of an abnormal or thickening of tissue in response to a wound. Strip off any leaves or flowers that go below soil level. If there is an excess of canopy of leaves, we recommend cutting the leaves in half to reduce the foliage.
The rooting medium we use is sand or an oasis. There are three easy steps. 1-Take the cutting. 2- Dip the cutting in gel or liquid hormone and 3-Put the cutting in sand or in an oasis or potting mix. For the home gardener in a dry home environment, we recommend putting a plastic bag over the new plant to increase humidity. Some plants will root in as little time as a week, while others will take several weeks. Remember to keep moist while the plant is initiating roots.
For more information about Nathaniel Howe’s propagation classes, visit our website: www.logees.com