April A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day Sixteen – Propagation

Propagation you ask? Really, why not choose something like Persnickety, or Pragmatism. Paragraphs, People, Purple, pertinent or any of the multitude of other words starting with the letter P? Because I always have heard you should write about what you know. For several years I have gathered knowledge and experience about propagating plants. So this is what I choose to share for my P topic.

I used to operate a greenhouse business. That is not when I first learned about propagation though. My dad and mom both practiced propagation , usually to get a start of a plant from someone they knew that had a variety they liked. It could be a fruit tree switch or a rose cutting.

It is not as hard as people allow, part of the reason it is not a widespread practice may be the high rate of failure. Some plants are particularly hard to propagate. I am no glutton for punishment, I choose the type of plants that are relatively easy and more likely to propagate more successfully.

The easiest in my experience is the wave petunia. You know what this is, the rambling petunia that will spread and spread in the heat of the summer if properly cared for. I actually stumbled across this by accident. Tomato plants have a similar quality to these petunias in that on their stem you can see some hair like extensions. These are actually root ends. If they can make contact with soil they will reach out and grow to be nutrient and water retrieving roots.

If you look at the stems you can see the "hair -like" roots.

If you look at the stems you can see the “hair -like” roots.

When I go to buy waves for this process I look for ones with lanky branches like the one below. These branches need to be separated from the plant to keep it looking nice. When you trim your plant along the way the branches will become more stock and have more offshoots for a fuller plant.

Notice the  thin lanky stems on these two specimens before I trim them.

Notice the thin lanky stems on these two specimens before I trim them.

Next I will post two samples of wave petunias from another post from a couple of years ago. On the left is an example of a wave petunia hanging basket that was not pinched properly (by the way, I did not grow this one). On the right is some baskets from when I had my greenhouse business.

Next i want you to see the same plants after I have pinched the long stems. I know, they look horrible, but I just gave them a serious energy boost. Plants like this have some serious roots. You will see this in a picture that follows. By reducing the amount of foliage I will boost the growth as the same roots will start to feed new stems.

You can see how the red plant has no long stems now.

You can see how the red plant has no long stems now.

Here is a shot of the roots on one of the wave petunia plants.

Here is a shot of the roots on one of the wave petunia plant 

I am only four days on from the start of this propagation, so i have no after photos to share. I will post something later on when the cuttings begin to thrive. If you are interested check back to see what they look like.

Lastly I will offer a word of warning. Propagating like this is only intended for your personal use. I could not do this in my greenhouse unless I has a propagation license, which was an expense I felt I could not afford, so I was unable to do it then. Since these are not for sale, but just for fun I am trying my hand at it again. I hope I gave you a fun tour of the propagation process.

Here are some random A to Z Blogs:

Anyanka’s Blog

Elin Gregory

The Greening of a Heart

JoAnne Phillips – a writer’s journey

Sayling Away

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About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
This entry was posted in Blogging Challenge, Faith, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to April A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day Sixteen – Propagation

  1. Mystikel says:

    “… used to operate a greenhouse business. That is not when I first learned about propagation though. My dad and mom both practiced propagation…” For a second I thought you were going somewhere different with that 🙂 nicely informative article

  2. Kelly says:

    Enjoyed the post. I won’t be doing any propagating, but it is time to plant!

  3. rinellegrey says:

    I learnt about propogating from my mum when I was little too!

    Haven’t heard of a propagating licence. I don’t think there’s any such requirement here in Australia. Seems a little crazy to me!

    Rinelle Grey

    • Joe Owens says:

      It is like a book royalty type of situation. If you make a copy of a plant you must pay a small fee to protect the creator of the variety. Otherwise you could take one plant and make an unlimited number with no royalty to the creator.

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