Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Plant propagation Subtropical Climate

Cuttings: variegated Philodendron. I can plant into a permanent place. The cutting of a yellow Buddleia I plant first into a pot filled with potting mix and sand. I also use some root hormone powder. The top of a Pineapple I plant into a permaculture plot under the canopy of mountain Papaws.

My camera caught the debutantes gracefully dancing to the notes of a light breeze this morning.

The yellow Allamanda was very jealous when she saw the debutantes until the morning sun kissed her cheeks and promised.....

Establishing a garden in a warm, subtropical climate.

In a warm climate it is possible to plant a garden mainly from cuttings.
Most plants grow from softwood cuttings during the warmer season. In winter it is possible to make hardwood cuttings. When passing some gardens one can spot sometimes lovely, interesting plants. Lots of gardeners are happy to give a cutting and also advice what this particular plant likes, like sun or shade, dry or moist or wet soil. Nurseries are fine to get your plants. But nurseries usually stock what's trendy at the moment, while established , perhaps older gardens grow plants which are not any more available in nurseries. Lots of plants also make offsets, like Bromeliads they are called pups.
Succulents are quite easy to propagate. One can break off one of the fat leaves and plant in a small pot into a mix of soil and sand. In no time this leaf will have made roots and starts to grow and voila a new plant for the garden.
There are so many ways to propagate plants, it is easy and if one never tries one can't succeed. Propagation of plants is a lot of fun for the gardener also one is not always successful. I think it is great when I see a plant I would like in a friends garden I can ask for a cutting and in no time it will flourish in my garden with the name of my friend attached to its roots! Naturally one can grow plants like shrubs and trees from seeds. But it is much quicker to grow it from cuttings. Perennials usually grow well from softwood cuttings. Some can be grown by dividing the rootstock.
I have grown lots of Hippeastrums from seeds and also from little bulblets that grow on the side of the bulb. When you grow from seed you can get extraordinary good looking plants, but also some which are not worth keeping. Annuals are grown from seed. Annuals set seed when their flowers have finished. When the seeds are ready to harvest one can collect them or let the plant self seed. The seedlings can be transplanted or left to grow where they have seeded if this is convenient.
It is getting more complicated with fruit trees. If you desire a certain fruit it has to be grafted. I have planted Avocado stones. The trees have grown fast and in four years I have had a good crop. One tree had the best tasting Avocados bearing very early. The other one took longer to bear. The avocados were nice too but not as good as the first one. So it's pot luck if one grows from stones. There is one Mango tree, NamDocMei, it is polyembryonic that means that if one plants a stone from this particular tree the fruit will be a true NamDocMei Mango.
There are probably more like this around but we like this Mango, it has a fantastic taste and a very slim stone. Fruit trees I would say is best to buy from a reliable nursery. Grapes are easily propagated from hardwood cuttings in August, end of winter in my country, when the grapes are pruned. They are usually ready in 8-10 weeks to plant out. It is always good to invest in a book, How to propagate plants.
Mine is written by Jack Plumridge (nomen est omen) How to propagate plants. This book is very good. It was last reprinted in 1980, a long time ago. If this is not available anymore I am sure there are others, new editions, just as good.

Agapanthus Seed from my daughter's garden. These are tall and have a dark blue flower. It is not sure that I will get the same flower as the seed comes from. She grows also white and soft blue coloured Agapanthus. I take the chance.


Nancy J. Bond said...

I've learned so much since joining Blotanical and reading entries such as this. Nova Scotia is anything but tropical, of course, but it's wonderful to be able to share your garden. The Agapanthus is beautiful -- good luck with your seeds.

Marie said...

Great post, beautiful photos.

AiaKirjanik said...

beautiful pictures, wonderful plants!

Kerri said...

My mom used to grow so much from cuttings, including all kinds of wonderful fuchsias. I had success with them last year, and overwintered the new plants, so I have a nice fresh hanging basket this spring. I also had good luck with geranium cuttings.
You have some beauties there! Lovely photos of your debutantes (Datura?) and Allamanda.

Titania said...

Yes Nancy, you are right, it's great, that we can share our gardens through blotanical. Today I shall admire your garden.

Marie, nice to hear from you. I have to go back to your garden today to have a look if spring has arrived over night.

aiakirjanik, one more garden to visit, thans for your nice comment.

Kerri, hi, thanks for visiting again. I love Fuchsias. I am always tempted to buy some of the new one they seem to get more and more exotic and frillier lookin, gorgous. I am looking forward to see your basket.
Yes, Datura, You are right.