As hard as it may be to accept, summer is drawing to and end here in Maine, with only a few short weeks left for growing tender annuals in the garden.Of course, hardier plants such as mums will continue to bloom well into the fall - but for those that simply cannot tolerate the cold, its time to either move them inside or take stem cuttings to grow them inside as houseplants.
I've opted for stem cuttings and actually spent the day doing just that. I must admit I'm rather proud of myself because I typically wait until it's too late and then rush to save my plants.
This year, I decided to try something new. I've taken cuttings of lavender, lemon thyme, basil, sage and sweet marjorum and started them in trays of soil so I can enjoy fresh herbs througout the winter. If you'd like to give it a try, clip three to four inch cuttings from the new growth on your herbs. Remove the leaves on the bottom two inches and dip the stem in rooting powder. Insert the cutting into moist soil and keep them moist until the roots have formed.
I also tried my hand at taking petunia cuttings. I've heard from some who have successfully started their own petunia plants and claim they have even bloomed inside the home during the winter. I'm not sure how sucessful my attempts will be, but if even a few root and grow - yes I started more than two dozen plants - it should be worth the effort.
The easiest way to root cuttings from annuals, such as begonia, coleus and impatiens is to root them in water. They make attractive plants on the window sill while rooting, and its easy to tell when and if they root.
Rooting Stem Cuttings in Water
Until next time ... HAPPY GARDENING!
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