Propagating: a winter project


Polish tomato plant begins to train up the loft window in November.

This September I decided to propagate some plants from cuttings as an experiment.  My first choice was petunias for next spring’s flower boxes… to get that out of the way… I failed… they died and shrivelled away with a bare minimum of fine roots, if any, in evidence. I selected a couple of cuttings from the amazing tomato plants that grew in our little greenhouse this year. I merely stuck the cuttings each into 4″ pots filled with good indoor potting soil. In a few weeks the roots were set and they showed signs of growth. I transplanted 2 of them into large pots and the plan now is to grow them under full-spectrum lights through the winter. True success will be the production of tomatoes… we’ll see.


Making new begonia plants from cuttings.

I also selected begonia cuttings in September with a similar plan that I had for the erstwhile unsuccessful petunias. This particular begonia is a trailing variety which thrives in both full shade and full sun… perfect for both the window and the deck flower boxes. I dipped the cutting stems each in a rooting hormone gel and poked them in good indoor potting soil at the same time as the petunia cuttings. The begonias rooted beautifully in a few weeks. They showed signs of healthy growth so this past weekend I took cuttings from them to turn my original 15 into 33 begonias which will fill all of my spaces come spring.


Doubling up the begonias using cuttings from the flourishing cuttings.

To ensure success with second batch of cuttings I placed a plastic cover over them to keep the air less drying. I also plugged in the seedling heat mats under them to maintain uniform warmth for root development. This will be kept in place for about 2 to 3 weeks… it’s a bit of a nuisance to water but I suppose the up side is less watering needed.IMGP0834


The orange and the white trailing begonias in one of the window boxes this summer.

Maybe I’ll see if any of the delicate blue flowers survived the frost last night and try to propagate them from cuttings too…hmmmmm.

IMGP0837Lobelia cuttings are now dipped in rooting hormone and poked into soil.

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