Gardening is a fantastic and very popular pastime that not only helps to make your home and garden look amazing but can also provide you with a host of mental and physical benefits. However, continually growing your own plants can end up hitting your wallet hard, which is why many gardeners turn to propagation to keep their Dallas landscape looking beautiful.
What is propagation, though, and how can you start? We thought we would take a closer look to help you get started.
What is Propagation?
Propagation is the process of taking an existing plant and then using it to grow new and fresh versions. This is one of the easiest and most affordable methods of growing new plants and ensuring your garden is always looking fantastic. However, propagation is not just about growing new plants. Utilizing the process can also help gardeners to save a plant that might be diseased or dying.
Propagation comes in an array of styles and can be classified as either sexual or asexual. Sexual propagation is the process that uses the genes and floral sections of the parent plants to grow new flowers. On the other hand, asexual propagation involves taking a parent plant it and forcing it to regenerate into a new one, effectively cloning it. To do this, gardeners need to use the stems, leaves, and roots of the plant.
What are the different types of propagation?
No matter whether you are new to looking after your home and garden or you have been gardening for years, knowing the different types of propagation can ensure you always know the best choice. While propagation can be classified as either sexual or asexual, there are an array of methods that gardeners can use:
Propagating new plants from seeds is one of the most common and well-known methods. This is a fantastic way of growing fresh flowers, plants, and vegetables and can be undertaken by gardening newcomers across Dallas.
To get started, gardeners need to simply collect some seeds either from their existing plants or from their local nursery and plant them. However, trying to grow larger plants such as trees, shrubs, and perennials from a seed can be much more challenging for beginners.
Another very popular form of propagation is through the use of cuttings, and this method works best for plants that are woody and herbaceous. When it comes to cuttings, there are two types:
This form of cuttings is the process of taking the stems of existing plants and placing them in soil or water to create new roots.
This method uses the leaf of a plant, and is one of the most popular methods for growing indoor plants.
The best method will depend on the type of plant that you are looking to grow:
- Herbaceous Cuttings
These are taken from non-woody plants, such as dahlias.
- Softwood Cuttings
This comes from new woody plants and is often cut in the springtime.
- Semi-Hardwood Cuttings
These are taken when a woody plant has begun to partially mature, usually between early summer and fall.
- Hardwood Cuttings
This form comes from stems that are dormant and mature with little signs of active growth.
Another very popular form of propagation, dividing is a great solution for splitting overcrowded and well-established plants into smaller and more manageable sections. When using this method, it is important to remember that certain plants will have clear and identifiable offshoots while others may have a tangled root ball. If you are unsure, then speaking with one of our gardening experts at Jacksons Home & Garden can help you.
This method of propagation requires gardeners to first root part of the plant before they cut it. To do this, you should place a branch into the ground and layer soil on top. You can then anchor this towards the ground, which will see the plant begin to root in a new section. Once it has done this, you can cut it as an individual plant.
Another method of layering is to split the stem before filling it with a special kind of moss known as Sphagnum.
This is the process of taking a cutting from your parent plant, and then grafting it to a seedling of the same species. Over time, these two plants will join together. This is a relatively advanced method that should only be used by experienced gardeners, but it is a useful method of controlling the size of larger plants and trees.
How to propagate plants
If you are looking to begin propagating plants for your home and garden in Dallas, then there are three main things that you need to consider:
This is the process of taking your cuttings and then placing them directly into the soil. To do this, simply cut a low node at the point where the stem and leaf attach. The cutting should be no more than six inches and should only be taken from a healthy plant.
When planting this cutting into your soil, create a small hole using your finger and carefully place your cutting in. Make sure you then pack the soil around it to provide the necessary support.
Propagating in Water
Another method of propagating is in water. This is not only a very effective method, but it is also fascinating to watch your plant begin to root and grow. This method is very simple and requires you to place your cutting into water, just being careful to ensure that no leaves are below the water line.
To divide your parent plant into two, dig the root from the soil and remove any excess dirt. Carefully look for any natural sections that you can pull apart, but if there are not any visible areas, then use a soil knife to divide. When doing this, make sure that each section has enough roots and bulbs to thrive.
What Tools Are Required To Propagate a Plant?
Propagating a plant can be undertaken by gardeners of all experience levels. However, to ensure that you have the very best home and garden plants, then using the right tools is essential. To make your cuttings, you will need a shape pair of pruners, while the use of rubbing alcohol is a good idea to sanitize the blade before cutting.
Having a dedicated space to carry out the propagation is also a great idea. While you can use any area, purchasing a propagation station will ensure you can easily look after your cuttings. If you are opting for soil propagation, then ensure that you are using high-quality potting soil to guarantee that your cuttings are getting the nutrients it needs. Depending on how many plants you are growing, then you can use a single pot or a seedling tray.
Is It Better To Propagate In Water Or Soil?
Now you know what propagating is, which is the best way to do it? Water propagation is often the easiest method for beginners, and it is also the quickest. However, not all plants are suitable to grow in water, particularly woody plants, and propagation in soil often yields higher success rates.
If you are looking to propagate plants for your Dallas home and garden for the first time, come by Jacksons Home & Garden to speak with one of our gardening experts to create your dream garden.