Gardening Articles

Propagation Of Plants From Cuttings

In the propagation of plants from cuttings or otherwise, the amateur, with limited facilities, of course cannot compete with the trained and experienced propagator, who makes the rearing of plants his business, devoting his whole attention to that special branch. Many men have devoted

the greater part of a lifetime to experiment and study, as to the best and most practicable methods for the successful propagation of plants. There are, however, common and ordinary methods for propagating plants from cuttings, that the most inexperienced can practice with a measure of success. All florists root their cuttings in sand, and that obtained from the beach of some fresh water lake is the best for the purpose, being free from gravel and clay, and will not hold water long. If lake sand cannot be easily obtained, common building sand will answer by thoroughly washing it with several waters to free it from clay, etc. I can recommend to the reader no more simple and practical method of propagating plants on a small scale, than the following, from the pen of an experienced florist, which expresses my own views exactly: "Take a pan, or dish, at least three inches deep--the circumference of which may be as large as you wish, fill to within one half inch of the top with sand. The cuttings are to be inserted in the sand, which is made very wet, of the consistency of mud. The pan should then be placed on the window case, where it will receive the full light of the sun, which will not injure the cuttings in the least, providing the sand is kept constantly wet, being careful to never allow it to become dry for a moment, otherwise the plants will be lost. "'Is there no drainage from the pan necessary?' none, the atmosphere will evaporate the water fast enough to prevent any stagnation during the brief time required for the cuttings to take root." Success in propagating in this way, depends altogether upon keeping the sand wet like mud until the cuttings in it are "struck" or rooted, and this may be easily determined--with the hand gently try to lift the cutting, you will know if it is rooted by the hold maintained on the sand, if not, it will come out. A little experience in feeling with the hand in this way, will enable you to readily determine whether the cutting is rooted or not. I have no doubt that the following table, which I have carefully prepared from my own extensive experience in regard to length of time required by different plants to take root from cuttings, will be of interest to all who desire to propagate plants in this manner. I am supposing now, in the following table, that all the conditions and facilities are such as are generally found in a first-class propagating house, with bottom heat, etc.: Days. Ageratums 6 to 8 Amaranthus 6 " 8 Alyssum 10 " 12 Abutilon 12 " 15 Azalea 60 " 90 Begonias 12 " 15 Bouvardias 20 " 30 Clematis 30 " 40 Carnations 20 " 30 Cuphea (cigar plant) 6 " 8 Chrysanthemums 12 " 15 Centaurea 30 " 40 Coleus (all kinds) 6 " 8 Dahlias 15 " 20 Eupatoriums 15 " 20 Echeverias 30 " 40 Geraniums 12 " 15 Hibiscus 20 " 30 Heliotrope 12 " 15 Lobelia 12 " 15 Lantanas 12 " 15 Lavender 20 " 30 Mignonette 15 " 20 Myosotis 12 " 20 Nasturtium 10 " 12 Primroses 30 " 40 Pyrethrums 15 " 20 Poinsettia 30 " 40 Petunias 20 " 30 Roses 30 " 40 Oleander 30 " 40 Verbenas 6 " 8 Vinca 12 " 15 All hardy shrubs, taken when the wood is green and young, may be propagated in like manner. The summer is the time to take off the wood for such cuttings.

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