Monday, 26 January 2015

Plant Propagation : Successes and Fails

A while back, I wrote about buying seeds from 4 Seasons, and growing oaks from acorns. Unfortunately, my propagation operation wasn't entirely successful. I worried that I'd have an overload of baby pinoaks on my hands. I really didn't have to worry at all. Not a single one of the 48 acorns that I planted sprouted. I waited about 4 months, just to be sure. Eventually, I dug about half of them out of the peat moss and laid them out to dry, in the hopes that I might be able to use them in craft projects. I left the rest of the acorns in the propagating tray, just in case.

In the tray, you can also see my attempts at growing Japanese Birch seeds. I filled 16 pots with propagating mix; there are about 10 seeds in each pot. I surface-sowed them as the instructions said, and kept them moist. After what seemed like an interminably long time, eventually two grew. (I've pointed out the second one with an arrow in the picture above, as it's still practically invisible to the naked eye.)

My ability to grow plants from seed seems to be quite miserable. I still have unopened packets of False Spirea and Hungarian lilac, and most of a packet of Japanese Birch seeds left, so I guess I'll wait til next Spring and try again. How did my attempts to grow plants from cuttings go? It was mixed, but at least more successful than the seeds. Here we see a fuchsia cutting that I took when I was pruning the bush. I took several, and this was the one with the thickest stem. I was worried the stem was too thick and it wouldn't take, but it seems to be doing quite well.

Well, I think so. At first all of the leaves dropped off, but then roots grew and new leaves and flowers soon after. A similar thing happened with this geranium cutting (excuse the rain-stained window and cat toys!):

I say cutting, but it actually broke off accidentally and I stuck it in a jar. I really need to get around to potting these up soon.

I also took quite a few cuttings when I was pruning the magnolia tree (this was several months ago now). I had a lot of fun going through the branches and cutting them down to likely candidates. I put most of them on the bathroom windowsill:

I don't think this was a good location. None of them did anything, despite my loyally topping up the water every day for months. Perhaps they didn't get enough light through the frosted window? This one did a little better:

After several months of wondering if I should give up, it eventually grew a leaf. But it's very low down on the stem and there are no roots! So I'm not sure if potting it up is a wise idea. At least Crazy Potato can always be relied on to grow like crazy!:

No comments:

Post a Comment