Saturday, 11 February 2012

Making more plants

We have a large garden and could never afford to buy enough plants to fill it without propogating our own - besides - creating new plants is fun to a gardener.
Before deciding to buy a plant in a nursery, a major consideration is often whether it has the potential to give me more plants in the future. I feel better about spending the money if I can imagine in a year or so there will be a whole row of plants from the one I bought.

Of course, all plants reproduce naturally. We just give them a helping hand. Some produce seed. Some form clumps that can be divided. Others send out runners. Some even produce their own baby plantlets.
It's amazing just how many plants will grow from a cutting. This would have to be the easiest way to get new plants for the garden.

The 3 C's of a tropical garden, crotons, cordylines and coleus can simply be cut and placed in a jar of water until the roots form. It's best to remove most of the leaves so the plant isn't using up nutrients keeping the leaves healthy, but they will usually shoot even if you don't remove the leaves.

These croton cuttings were placed in water early December and just left outside with an occasional top up of water until mid January. (about 6 weeks) Once the roots are formed, they are planted in potting mix for a further month or two.

This is what they look like now potted up.
I won't transplant them into the garden until they have a nice thick root system.


Alternatively you can just poke them into a propogating mix. (I use a mix of peat moss, potting mix and sand - roughly equal amounts) I want the cuttings to stay moist but not soggy or they will rot.
John collects styrofoam boxes from the same fruit shop that gives us the scraps for the chickens. They make great planter boxes for cuttings. Our shadehouse is next to the vegie patch so the cuttings get a regular watering while I water the vegies. They'll be ready to plant out into the garden in about 6-8 weeks.


  1. Your garden is so gorgeous, I love the colors and textures that abound. I need to practice plant propagation more diligently; I have two coleus growing in the window in the kitchen right now, but they don't too good. You have given some wonderful tips here. I always feel better about buying an expensive plant when I can make more plants out of it, too!

  2. That's a very smart way to garden! I divide clumps of daylilies to spread around the garden. When I do buy a new pot of them, I look for ones that have several plants per pot so I get more for my money. :o)

  3. I love propagating new plants - it is like getting plants for "free". I sometimes have trouble with crotons though - think they do better with a little hormone powder or honey to get them started.

  4. Wow, you look incredibly well set up and organised with your plant propagation. I am bit more slap dash and have mixed results. At the moment I am inspired because a lovely friend has moved to the Sunshine Coast and I am looking forward to helping her establish her first tropical garden.


I would love to know what you think and appreciate your comments.


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