I guess I shouldn’t call it a new hobby. I have always liked to play in the dirt. When I was a little girl, Daddy built me a tree house. I was so excited and I wanted to make it pretty. I raked all around it (we lived in a pine forest). I even went up farther into the woods and dug plants and planted them around the tree house. I was so proud. I will never forgot running in the house and getting Mama to come out to see what I had done. She about died. I had dug up POISON IVY. But, you know, I did not get a drop. It has only been in the last few years that I get it, and only on my right arm.
Well, my new hobby is rooting cuttings.
Over the years, I have tried to do cuttings, but it never seemed to be really successful. I got them to root, but once I put them into the dirt, I was a failure. But, this year has been so much fun to watch roots form in water or to see pots filled with sprigs completely fill and overflow the container.
Last year, my neighbor brought over some pathos that she had actually already rooted. I said thank you and stuck it in a pretty rooster container that I keep on a shelf over my washer and dryer. Quite frankly, I forgot to keep water in it and would every now and then have an “a Ha!” moment and fill the jar with water. This spring, I decided I would try to stick it in some dirt. It worked---I have already brought that pot in the house for the winter.
I was at a friend’s house late last summer and she had a Wondering Jew that I had not seen and I broke a piece off (with her permission, of course) and stuck it in some dirt. I had another kind (the purply red and green) of w.j. that Mr. R had brought me from the Senior Center. I got both through the winter. The Senior Center Wondering Jew had been planted in good old North Carolina red clay. I really don’t know how it survived—but it did. It was so hard in the pot that I had to get a knife to go around the edges just like a cake. I have three pots of this started.
Our “interesting” yard men (we live in a semi-gated community and if I had my way we would do our own mowing, blowing, etc.) knocked a Christmas cactus down out of a tree and broke it up---So, I took those pieces and made a couple of pots with those.
Another plant I rooted this summer was Acuba cuttings. I needed some green in our foyer and just went out and cut some and brought it in. I am going to put those in the ground over the weekend.
Now, just the other day when I made the pesto, I had some leftover basil. I had read how easy it was to root. I put it in the water about a week ago and I already have roots. I love it!! I think, I will put that in a small pot and see if I can keep it over the winter.
My sister gave me some Rex begonia stem s the other day. They are in water and I have my fingers crossed that I get something started before long. I would love to get that in some dirt before it gets too cold to set outside for a while.
Many years ago, I read that when one tried to root, they should not use tap water because it contained so many chemicals. I would let water sit and supposedly that would let the chemicals evaporate. I even went out to Mama’s and got lake water or her well water to try to root plants. This summer I just stuck things in water straight from the tap. Success!!!!! I also use Rootone—a plant hormone that helps plant develop roots—I even use this when I plant in the spring. It really helps to make stronger plants. Other than that I guess I gave them a lot of tender loving care.
Now, the next big question is, can I keep all of this over the winter. I am sure going to give it a try. So, this is the “new hobby” (like I needed one -- )
Keep your fingers crossed and I will
See you in a few,