It’s Spring! Time to Propagate!
April 10, 2013

From A Gardener’s Notebook Newsletter – Join the Mailing List today!

It is Springtime here in the Northern Hemisphere and the thoughts of a young gardener turn to propagation. No, not THAT type of propagation, but rather the making of more plants for our gardens. Whether planting seeds you saved from a previous season, planting seedlings you grew on yourself or making new plants from those you already have, propagation is one of the easiest and cheapest way to expand your garden. 

I have decided to launch my long-thought about and long delayed propagation project this week. You can see the beginning of this in my most recent Container Garden Update where I take some rosemary cuttings in hopes of growing some rosemary topiaries and even a rosemary hedge.

I have been meaning to do this for years, but work and family life often get in the way of gardening around here. I have so much good material here in the garden, though, so it seems foolish not to make the most of it. The blog and these videos help to give me added impetus to move forward, too, so hopefully you will also be the beneficiaries of my new found energy.

In some cases, I am moving forward with the propagation project to save some plants we are in danger of losing. Due mainly to drought and shade problems, we have lost a number of roses. I am going to attempt to propagate new plants from the one’s that are remaining in hopes of rebuilding the beds, now that we have opened up the sunlight in some areas. It is important I get going quickly, though, or I may lose the remaining plants from which I will take the cuttings. That seems a silly waste just because of my own procrastination.

My Favorite Book on Propagation

Making More Plants by Ken Druse

What to do?

I have collected several propagation ideas over the last few years and I plan on putting as many of them in place as possible. You can see updates on most of these in my video series, In the garden and Container Garden Update. I’ll also be sharing more information there as I move forward. Container Garden Update appears each Sunday and In the garden each Wednesday on my my YouTube Channel and on the Gardener’s Notebook blog. Subscribe to the channel, the blog or the podcast to receive each new episode automatically.

So far, I have put the following in action…

  • Started container gardens with purchased seed and transplants, including strawberries, kale, basil, peppermint, chives, spinach and more
  • Growing both white potatoes and sweet potatoes using sprouting tubers from our pantry
  • Planted lettuce from the cores of supermarket lettuce in hopes of regrowing
  • Rosemary cuttings from my large garden plant
  • I will probably start more at regular intervals to replace any failed cuttings and build up sizeable inventory for decorative replanting in the garden
  • Ficus benjamina seeds, since we had such a big crop this year
  • Perhaps create some houseplant sized version for gifts to friends and family
  • Ficus repans cuttings
  • I am trying to recover our back wall and, despite the reported difficulty in propagating this creeping fig, I figured I would give it a try.
  • Grow pumpkins from last year’s Halloween jack-o-lantern and gather more seeds from any I can gather this year

I have some more general plans for the upcoming year, too, Such as…

  • Gather seed from any plant that I would l enjoy
    • Already planning to gather acanthus seeds, as current plans are starting to flower now
  • Elm seedlings to grow on as gift trees for friends and family
    • They pop up everywhere, so perhaps that is telling me I should be putting them to use
    • Seeds also drop in great numbers in the fall, so I may gather and plant some of them, too
  • Camphor and ash seed and seedlings
  • Seeds from Carrotwood and locust tree
  • Re-plant any produce that might yield a second or third crop such as lettuce, celery, etc.
  • Take cuttings from a wide variety of plants in the garden including gardenia, camellia, clytostoma, wisteria, etc
  • Collect seeds, seedlings and cuttings from friend’s gardens, vacant lots and pretty much wherever I can
  • …and much, much more!

Watch the blog, podcasts and YouTube Channel for more of my adventures in propagation!


What are you planning on propagating this year — or are already growing? I’d love to hear what is happening in your garden. Leave comments on the blog, YouTube Channel, Facebook, Twitter or wherever you find more convenient. Share your experiences with all the Gardener’s Notebook readers and viewers.

Until next time…Keep Digging!

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