The Propagation Guild members are working hard to produce large numbers of plants for this years plant sale at the Spring Festival 2019.
Here is a peek behind the scenes of the propagators plant nurseries.
The beautiful plants at the plant sale all start out as a baby plant, conceived in one of the following ways:
- grown from seeds collected from a mother plant
- grown from pups of plants, growing at the base, or even on the leaves of the mother plant.
- cuttings in the form of leaves, stems or branches cut off a plant
- divisions of plant clumps.
- underground plant parts cut into smaller sections; rhizomes, bulbs, roots, etc.
- layering: bending a twig to the ground and securing it there with a staple until it grows new roots.
Here are some examples of the listed propagation techniques:
Seeds are planted in soil in pots or in the ground. Pups growing from a mother plant often have roots and can be cut loose and planted in pots.
Pups growing on leaves will get roots before or after they fall off the mother plant. In either case they can be planted in soil. Stem cuttings can be put in a jar of water and grow roots and then be planted. Cuttings can also be planted right away in soil, where they will root with or without growing hormone powder.
Like their stem cutting colleagues Leaf cuttings can root in water or in soil. Crawling plants, such as ground covers make roots as they crawl over the earth. These plant mats, such as grass, can be cut into small patches and potted.
Plants spreading underground via rhizomes (iris, bamboo, ginger) and tubers (dahlia) can be propagated by cutting the underground portion in small pieces. Shrubs with their branches close to the ground can be multiplied by bending and fixing a twig to the ground at which point the twig will develop roots. After a few month the twig can be cut loose before entering in the ground and can be transplanted elsewhere.
Plant Production in Progress
Glass jars on the left and in the back contain cuttings that grow roots in water. After roots have grown 1 or 2 inches the cuttings are planted in soil. The colorful Coleus cuttings in the center also sit in water where they easily shoot roots.
Black pots contain multiple little plants that are grown from seed.
Leaf propagation of Cactus, Kalanchoe and Snake plant.
Multiple pots with germinating seeds
Seeds are planted in medium to large size pots. After germination the little plants stay in their birth pot until 2 inches tall. Then they are individually planted in small pots.
When seedlings or cuttings outgrow their first pot, they are transplanted in larger pots where the root ball and plant can develop further.
Until now they have been nurtured in a protective environment, shielded from cold and wind.
When they get bigger and stronger, they move to the outside and grow further until ready for the sale.
Based on the described techniques and processes many hundreds of plants are being produced by the Propagation Guild members. We all look forward to a great harvest and a record revenue for the Garden Club at the Spring Festival on April 13, 2019.
Article by Marinus Grootenboer
Photography by Marinus Grootenboer