While all gardeners love a long trip to the nursery, we don’t always have the time or money to buy the masses of plants our heart’s desire. Luckily, there is one essential gardening skill that eliminates that problem altogether – propagating.
Although it may sound tricky, growing new and healthy plants from scratch is easier than many think, taking only a couple of minutes out of your afternoon. With the right tools and gadgets, the process is made even easier. Invest in these essential tools to grow more plants than you know what to do with.
Clean and Sharp Secateurs
One of the first tools any gardener needs in their arsenal is a high-quality, sharp pair of secateurs. Whether trimming herbaceous houseplant cuttings or hardwood cuttings, or even just pruning plants around the garden, this is one tool on the must-have list.
The Tramontina Bypass Pruner is made of durable materials, including Chrome Vanadium alloy and die-cast aluminum, that ensure they will last for many years of propagating. They do require some upkeep, including regular cleaning and oiling, but they will reward you by making the process of propagation as smooth as possible.
As any gardener knows, soil is a vital foundation for growth that has a huge impact on the success of your plants. Newly propagated cuttings require a light and well-draining soil mixture to provide little resistance to root growth while holding enough moisture to encourage root growth.
A combination of perlite, vermiculite and palm peat is perfect for this purpose. While the palm peat retains enough moisture without weighing the mixture down, the perlite and vermiculite improve drainage and aeration to deliver oxygen to the roots.
Mix them together in a ratio of two parts palm peat to one part perlite and one part vermiculite for the ideal propagating mix for a range of plants.
Whether you’re growing softwood or hardwood cuttings, rooting hormone is guaranteed to increase your chances of success. The active ingredient 4-Indole-3lbutyric Acid (IBA) stimulates root growth and speeds up the process of propagating.
There is a specific rooting hormone for each type of cutting:
Make sure you use the right type for your chosen cutting. Simply place some of the powder into a separate container (to avoid contamination of the main container) and dip the end of the cutting into it before planting.
Cuttings require certain environmental conditions to grow roots – usually warm and humid. Since no one wants to stand next to their cuttings misting every 5 minutes to increase the humidity until roots develop, there is a handy gadget that does all the work for you – a propagator.
This Garland Small High Dome Propagator is perfect for growing cuttings or sowing seeds. With built-in drainage and a deep container, simply lay your propagating mix inside, pop in the cuttings, and cover with the lid. The hole at the top opens and closes as needed, providing airflow and preventing fungal growth.
With these wonderful gardening goodies, it will be hard to go wrong on your next propagating adventure.
How to videos:
Check out these great videos on how to propagate different plants: