Fun With Plant Propagation in August!

As always plant propagation is a major event around my garden. Ever since I started playing with rooting plant material several years ago (with the dappled willows) I haven't been able to help myself. Even when I'm not able to propagate new plants I still like to add to the number of plants in the garden by propagating more of what we already have. Repetition of plants is a good design technique! (at least that's my excuse for my addiction)

What have I propagated recently? I'm glad you asked! (Maybe you didn't but I'll tell you anyway.)

This weekend I potted up 14 Purple Homestead Verbenas, 5 Beautyberry Bushes, 2 Caryopteris plants, 7 Salvia coccineas, 5 'Walker's Low' Catmint, and 10 'Powis Castle' Artemisias. Down below I'll tell you a little about each but every single one of these plants is very easy to propagate. If you have a question or a comment about any one of these plants please post in the comments!

Propagating Beautyberry Bushes

Beautyberry bushes are one of my favorite shrubs for the fall berry color. They put on massive clusters of purple berries. Beautyberry roots easily from greenwood to semi-ripe cuttings in spring to summer. You want to be sure to take any cuttings early enough that they have time to harden off before the first fall frost.

Propagating Salvia coccinea

This red blooming salvia is just an annual here but I thought I'd experiment just to see how easy rooting it from cuttings was. The answer: EXTREMELY EASY TO PROPAGATE! Every stem tip cutting take rooted within two weeks. As you can see in the pictures the root systems are substantial for the newly rooted plants. All I had to do to propagate this salvia was put a little rooting hormone on the cut ends, stick the cuttings into sand, and keep the cuttings watered. Easy, easy, easy, did I say it was easy? Sometimes annuals are a great choice for rooting because they grow roots so easily and so that you can increase your plantings without having to buy a several flats of annuals. One reason I propagated this salvia was so that I could collect more seed at the end of the summer. Also once the heat outside reaches a certain temperature many types of seeds won't germinate as well but they will root.

Propagating Caryopteris

Blue mist shrub is an awesome choice for any garden in the fall. They withstand drought, have never been eaten by deer in my yard (which ought to tell you something!), and bloom blue in September when most plants are winding down. Virtually any type of cutting will root easily for caryopteris. I tend to take 2 node greenwood cuttings. I do use rooting hormone even though it may not be needed to help speed up the process.

Propagating 'Homestead Purple' Verbena

I propagate verbena every year because I can never be sure that it will all come back! Depending on the type of winter we have or the location I have the verbena planted it doesn't always return and the more plants I add to the landscape the better chances I have of one returning. It's roots seem to like a well drained area. Verbena roots easily with very little plant material. Internodal cuttings with one node with two leaves will almost always root. Because you can take internodal cuttings from verbena you can cut a whole stem into many new potential plants.

Propagating Catmint

Catmint has found it's way into every garden in my yard. Not because it's invasive (it isn't), but because I like it so much. It blooms forever, attracts pollinators, and smells great when you crush the leaves. Internodal or nodal stem cuttings root easily anytime during the growing season.

Propagating 'Powis Castle' Artemisia

'Powis Castle' artemisia is another staple of my garden mainly for the silver foliage. It's also very deer and rabbit resistant (so much so that I would call it deer proof but I'm not sure anything truly is!) the big trick to rooting artemisia is to remove most of the leaves. It will lose moisture quickly if you don't and the cutting with wither and die.

That was it for this weekend! What have you rooted lately?

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