Posts Tagged ‘propagation’

Easy Propagating Perennials: Sedum Plants

Large swaths of flowering plants best for design and for use by pollinators.

Large swaths of flowering plants best for design and for use by pollinators.

Want to increase your stock of perennial plants? It’s worth your while to make new plants, to share or to make a bigger splash in the garden. Plus, it’s easy and fun.

Propagation varies in terms of easiness, but sedums, like ‘Autumn Joy’ or its other variants are a good place to start as they are one of the easiest. Sedums are one of my favourite perennials for many reasons. Pollinators go crazy for their flower nectar, and as they are succulent, they are super low maintenance. They are also one of the hardiest perennials, and one of the few that will over-winter in a container.

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Growing New Plants from Individual Dahlia Tubers

Single dahlia tuber planted in grow mix.

Single dahlia tuber planted in grow mix. The eye is the tiny dark spot in the protruding part at the top.

At the Peterborough Garden Show recently I was surprised to see samples of new dahlias growing in pots looking like fingers stuck in the ground. In my dahlia growing experience I’ve always planted an entire cut-off stalk surrounded by several tubers in a mass, usually purchased in a bag with tubers and sawdust. However this was something new I’d never seen. A dahlia specialist at a garden show gives you the opportunity to see a wider variety of species, as many specialists will have myriad varieties. The tubers they provide are individual dry tubers, harvested last spring, cleaned and trimmed so they are stored singly. And they do look a little bit like fat fingers.

The important thing about each dahlia tuber ‘finger’ is that it must have a little piece of original stem attached which contains the growing “eye”. Dahlia tuber eyes are similar to the eye that you see growing on a potato tuber, except they tend to be small and harder to notice. The grower pointed it out to me on the tuber I bought. Very small, but unmistakeable once you see it: a small round swelling on the tuber around the place where it joins the stem. Any other tubers that fall off a purchased dahlia stem without this eye are useless. The tuber provides the food source for the plant, but nothing will happen without an eye, as it is the growing tip.

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Hints for Harvesting Basil

cleaning basil leaves

Basil gives and gives.

When harvesting basil, don’t leave your herb harvest on the counter to wilt. Even storing your herbs in the fridge isn’t the best idea. For even more basil, make sure you stand the stems in water while you have time to make your pesto. If you don’t get around to getting that food processor out for a few days, you’ll have a happy surprise, like I did. I wasn’t planning to root my cuttings, but root they did!

Basil stems rooted in water

Basil stems rooted in water

Basil stems root quite easily in water, and you can pot the rooted stems into fresh soil mix, giving you a new refreshed basil plant and more harvests down the road.

Put each cutting into a 4″ pot, in loose soil mix. Water thoroughly, then leave in bright light, but out of direct sun for a week. Then you’ll have your original plant along with new refreshed plants to take you through the rest of the basil season.