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The Cutting Edge

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DO YOU HAVE a favorite house or garden plant? This would be a great time of the year to make cuttings that you can share or gift to some of your favorite people. Cuttings is one of the easiest ways to grow a new plant from a mother plant while giving the mother plant a great facelift at the same time!

Some of my favorite plants happen to be succulents or cacti. I usually root them in a little container of water in my kitchen window. The stringy roots may take a couple of weeks to appear. At this point, I simply transfer my cutting to a pot filled with a mixture of sand and potting soil.

The great benefit of growing a plant from a cutting is that the new plant will look and behave just like the original plant. Many herbaceous and woody garden plants will easily grow from cuttings. Let’s go over the basics and create a simple inexpensive way to give it a go.

Get some used water bottles and a used gallon milk jug.

Cut the top of the milk jug off about half way down and recycle it. Use a sharp scissors to poke some drainage holes in the bottom of the jug. Now fill with a mixture of three parts sand to one part potting mix all the way to the top. Water this thoroughly.

Obtain your cuttings—use a garden clipper and make a cutting three to five inches long from your desired plant. The cutting should not be in bloom or have buds for the best and quickest results. Remove the bottom two inches of leaves, and use a sharp knife to skim the bottom inch of the stem. Pretend you are peeling a carrot.

Create a solution of one teaspoon honey, three teaspoons white vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water in a tall glass. Let your cuttings soak in this overnight.

Now, use a pencil to make a hole in the soil in the jug about halfway down, and insert your stripped and soaked cuttings.

Use the small water bottles to make a dome for each cutting by simply slicing off the bottom. Keep the screw top closed to keep the moisture in. Place the domed jug in a grocery store plastic bag and set in a shady area.

Check every four days to make sure moisture is consistent. If it feels dry inside the bag, add water to the jug. In six to eight weeks, you should see some new growth on the cutting or feel a resistance if you try to remove it from the soil.

Now give the cutting its own pot or spot in the garden, and watch it grow!

Whether your garden favorite is a rose or an azalea, try an experiment and see if you can get on the cutting edge! After all, you really have nothing but a few trimmings and recyclables to loose and lots of new plants and friends to gain!!

Lisa Ribbeck Lyons

Sophisticated Woman –June 2016

901-626-2219

Sending pictures in separate e-mail

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