I believe I have caught Cuttingitis, a disease that afflicts many avid gardeners. I must have been bitten by the bug around March or so this year, when winter slowly gives way to spring. The symptoms of this disease are:
- You break into a cold sweat imagining the kids’ basketball landing on your freshly planted rose cuttings
- You plan to go for long walks with pruning shears and a plastic bag in your pocket
- You make plans to be specially friendly to a neighbor who has bought and planted a delightful pink variety of scented geranium
- You peer into neighbors’ gardens to identify which of their plants you don’t have
- You start scowling at young cuttings that show no sign of growth for over a week
- Your usual argument on the illegality of propagation by cuttings is “well, God, who made the originals, didn’t patent them.”
- You accost total strangers and request them to allow you to take rose cuttings from their garden (this is called “rose rustling” according to a blogger friend)
Don’t know if there’s any cure for it, but I’m not too worried.
Just -planted Coleus, Hydrangea, Plumbago, and Abutilon cuttings
I have given away quite a few lovely flowers including geraniums and hostas that I propagated from cuttings to some of my friends at the swimming pool. Some of them did appreciate it, and have begun to take an active interest in gardening, while I see signs of panic in the eyes of some others when they see me approach with eyes glittering! My Japanese friends are very polite, you see, and if I did present them with some full-grown plants, they don’t feel happy unless they submit a full-blown report every year with accompanying photos on how well the plants have grown!
Here are some plants that I successfully propagated and presented to friends.
Clockwise from top left, red geranium and hosta, white geranium, red and
white geraniums, and hosta
Although propagating by cuttings is probably easy, it can be rather frustrating at times. You get the right potting mix for the cuttings that include the correct proportion of sand, vermiculite, and so on. You pick the correct length of the cutting; you cut the stem diagonally so as to give adequate area at the base; you soak it in water for about an hour to facilitate the cutting to draw up water after planting it; you place it carefully after making a hole in the mix with a chopstick; you cover it carefully with a plastic bag to retain moisture; you store the pot in a bright place not in direct contact with sunlight; you lovingly spray the cuttings with a fine mist so that moisture is retained. After several days, you find that only one out of three cuttings show some sign of growth. So you have done all the things right, yet they don’t root. I’m pretty sure that some of these cuttings don’t like the environment or they don’t like my face. I can visualize this conversation among three scented geranium cuttings on any given day:
Winnie: I think he’s OK. He’s regularly spraying us with that heavenly mist. I’m going to sprout roots for him.
Minnie: I don’t like his face. He’s too glum. I’m going back to sleep.
Ginny: I agree. He’s not my type.
I had great hopes for curry leaf cuttings that I had brought over from India. I carefully planted them in about 12 different pots and placed them at different locations in the house, spraying them with a fine mist of water everyday. I did this assiduously from February to July! The curry leaf cuttings probably did not like the environment – they were probably used to different aromas wafting in the air, lots of noise and sounds of laughter, chirps and tweets of hundreds of different birds and insects, and the sounds of various languages! All these are absent in Japan – it is quiet, no noise, no tooting of horns or chirping of birds here in Kisarazu, Japan. So of the 12 or so cuttings, I found just today that only one had acclimatized to the Japanese environment, had liked my face and had rooted!
One curry leaf cutting that rooted
All the others have gone to sleep! I have a good mind to spray the 11 other little blighters with spicy rasam – that would surely wake them up!
But for the curry leaf cuttings, I have generally had a reasonable level of success with other cuttings.
Christmas cactus rooted cuttings Christmas cactus in full bloom
I’m very happy with the Christmas cactus cuttings. They make great gifts – especially when the flowers bloom.
Lantana rooted cuttings Lantana in bloom
All five of the Lantan cuttings rooted !!!
Scented geranium rooted cutting Reeves Spiraea rooted cutting
I could manage only one of the above cuttings to root. Well, there’s always next year!
Rooted rose cuttings (+Rose of Sharon) From these roses!
I am also happy to have propagated some rose cuttings. I have no idea what colors the roses will turn out to be.
Rooted gardenia cuttings Rooted Daphne Odora cuttings
I am especially looking forward to the Daphne Odora flowers with their sweet fragrance blooming around March every year.
I have already posted about my success with Hydrangea and Japanese Photinia cuttings.
Finally, here are some blooms in my garden.
Hosta in bloom
Another variety of hosta in bloom
And finally, a view of the Balsam (seed bought in India)
Until the next post, happy gardening!
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