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February 2023

Propagation – The Art, The Science, And A Whole Lotta Luck

Yard of the Month Committee Contribution to VPNA’s February 2023 Newsletter

While February can have sunny days in the 60s, it can also have little weather events like Snowpocalypse 2021. For those of us that love growing things, that can make it tough to navigate outside, so this month, we’re talking about our favorite way of propagating plants – inside. Propagation allows you to share a favorite plant with people you like or to simply have more of what you already love!

Cuttings – Pending the plant, you have options.

If you are propagating something like ivy, find a healthy leaf and using clean shears, cut off the leaf and a section of the stem below, preferably below a node. Using a clean glass or similar container, fill it with water and submerge the stem. Place it in a bright area. Aside from changing out the water weekly, let it be. Over the course of the next few weeks, you should see small roots start to poke out of the stem. Once a healthy root system has formed, you can transplant it into a container with potting soil.

Succulents are especially good for propagation and the technique is a little different. Pending the plant, twist or cut off a leaf and lay it in a dry place for a couple days to dry out the cut edge. Once dry, place the leaf on top of potting soil in bright, indirect sunlight. Mist the leaf whenever it or the soil become dry. After a few weeks, roots should start to form. When the succulent has a baby/little clone, you can remove the parent leaf and place the new plant in succulent potting mix!

Regardless of your inspiration, a few things are certain:

· Use sharp, clean tools (scissors, knife, or hands) when making a cutting.

· If propagating a tree or shrub, take cuttings while the parent plant is dormant.

· If your first attempt doesn’t thrive, try again. It’s worth the effort!

Whether you are just starting out or elevating your propagation game, consider stopping by VPNA’s Yard Of The Month sponsor, North Haven Gardens and speak to their experts. We are grateful to North Haven Gardens for being such a generous sponsor of our neighborhood’s beautification and we know they would also be generous with their propagation know-how!

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