July is a great month to start propagating your favorite plants for fall sharing. It’s easy to do.
Walk through your garden to identify this year’s best plants for vigor and color. They could also be plants that have just about outgrown their space.
Plants are separated into 3 categories: herbaceous, softwood and semi-hardwood. Coleus and mums are examples of herbaceous. Evergreens, roses and azaleas are examples of softwood (new growth of softwood bends and the new leaves are smaller than older leaves). Forsythia and figs represent semi-hardwood and cuttings are taken from this year's growth of new wood.
Here are some basics:
🌱 Choose the healthiest plants.
🌱 Take cuttings early in the morning when plants are well-hydrated.
🌱 Keep cuttings moist with wet paper or in a cooler as you gather them.
🌱 Remove flowers and leaves from the lower third of the cutting.
🌱 Treat the cutting with root-hormone by dipping in rooting medium and tapping off excess.
🌱 Plant the cutting in loose, damp and sterile medium such as a mixture of perlite, sand and peat moss. Keep the cuttings at least 3 inches apart.
🌱 Keep the cuttings under plastic and indirect sun. And don’t forget to label your cuttings!
🌱 When new growth begins, transplant them to small pots to allow maximum root growth before transplanting them to permanent beds.
🌱 Bonus: Make a plant tag with the plant’s name, light requirements and any other notes.
The fall is the best time to divide spring and summer blooming plants and bulbs. Mark the location of bulbs so you can find them later.
🌱 Dig up the plant or bulbs with a garden fork. Remove loose soil from roots.
🌱 Gently separate bulbs from the largest bulb. Replant as you wish or share.
🌱 Separate parent plant from smaller plants by pulling apart with your hands, cutting with a sharp knife, or separating with large forks. For example, daylilies, hostas, irises.
🌱 Be sure to work in the shade so roots do not dry out. Wrap in damp paper if gifting.
🌱 Trim away any flowers or dead leaves. Replant and water thoroughly.
🌱 Collect seed heads from your most colorful and vigorous blooms once they have completely dried on the stem and are almost crumbly. For example, zinnias, basil, marigolds.
🌱 Store in a paper envelope or bag, or a zip plastic bag with paper inside to absorb any moisture.
🌱 Mark the name of the plant along with any other specific information.
🌱 Store in a cool, dry place.