When people come by the garden they often ask me where I get all my plants. This is a complex question which could take me all day to answer. Some answers might be easily acceptable, some not so easily understood. But all people like to hear about my free plants. Who doesn't love free plants?
You can get free plants from division, seed collecting, cuttings, layering, and friends (the best kind). This post is about cuttings, specifically cuttings I take in the fall to increase my stock of plants or to save tender plants which will not winter over in my Zone 6/7 garden.
I don't have a book that tells me when to take cuttings, it is kind of a trial and error thing on my part. Some cuttings that work in the spring will not work in the fall, and others in the fall won't work in the summer and so on. Still others there may be no right time to take cuttings but I sure love increasing my stock of plants from cuttings.
I have found that most cuttings I take from spring on into September will actually bloom that first year if they are an herbaceous perennial. See the Pineapple sage in the upper right corner that is blooming in the flat? I took that cutting on the 9th of September and the picture was taken just three weeks later. I am amazed how plants, even severed plants will still bloom when they are supposed to bloom. It must be in their genes.
The long window box flat is full of PeeGee hydrangea cuttings. Now in my experience the shrubs started from cuttings will take much longer to bloom and almost certainly will not bloom the first growing season they are planted out in the garden. But, as it is with gardeners, we have to have patience and soon enough we will be rewarded with blooms.
Here are some cuttings you might want to take now: lantana, hydrangeas, coleus, sage, Powis Castle artemesia, heliotrope, and datura.
For more ways to increase your stock of plants see Dave's blog for great information on propagating plants.
in the garden....