Sunday, July 27

Propagating Petunias from Cuttings

This was an unintentional discovery. While deadheading my petunias, a piece broke off. It had pretty blossoms on it so I put it in a small vase on the kitchen window sill. Then I forgot about it until yesterday. The blossoms died and I was about to toss it in the compost, when I noticed these roots growing.
It rooted without rooting hormone- just plain water. So I planted it. Easy.
This is what my cutting will develop into once established. I bought these mini white petunias on clearance at a department store in June. They were half off because they had been neglected and dried out. It didn't take long for them to bounce back with a little water and pruning.

From now on when I have some cuttings left from pruning, I'll put them in a vase to propagate more petunia plants.

Turns out Petunias, as well as Tomato cuttings, root very easily. Take a look at these videos to see how Halvor in Norway roots his tomatoes and petunias.

Saturday, July 19

Propagating Hydrangeas and Spirea

In 2006, The Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin proclaimed: “Even in the smallest and humblest garden, a sturdy hydrangea at once proclaims the place as the abode of a real gardener rather than a mere purchaser of plants to cover the landscape.”

I've never had hydrangeas in my garden though I love them. My grandmother had two beautiful hydrangeas in her yard. My mother has them too. So, I'm going to try to become a 'real gardener' this year. 
I've seen the how to propagate instructions floating around on Pinterest. With some rooting powder and cuttings, I can start my very own baby hydrangea plants.
 So I asked my mother if I could take some cuttings from her plants.
 I brought them home, dipped the tip in rooting powder and cut the leaves in half. My mother says this is to make most of the energy go into the roots, yet leave some leaf for food production.
 I stuck the cuttings into potting soil and watered. We shall see if I become a real gardener this year with my hydrangeas.
 These beautiful specimens are my mother's hydrangeas from which I took the cuttings. Even though it will take a whole lot of time, I'm hoping to someday have plants as gorgeous as these.

She also let me have come cuttings from her spirea bush. I followed the same directions as the hydrangea.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 17

Ask Our Readers: Growing Lemon and Mandarin Trees

This question came to us from a gardener in Queensland, Australia: "We have a mandarin tree that's about three years old now and doesn't seem to be growing and has never had any fruit. Our lemon tree has had one or two lemons but that's about it. If you have any ideas as to what we can try I would appreciate it."

We've never grown citrus, but did find these YouTube videos which might be a good starting place. The first is from Greg the Gardener with Lemon tree tips and the Kiwi Grower, who grows a variety of citrus trees including Mandarin.

But, we'd also like to pose this question to any of our viewers who have experience with citrus. If you have any tips or advice for our fellow gardener, please post in the comments below. 



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