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How to Grow Plants...

How to Grow Plants from Clippings

Short on money these days? Your garden doesn’t have to suffer if you don’t have the big bucks to hire a landscaper and buy fancy plants. Growing plants from small clippings is easier than you might think. With only a few supplies, you’ll be on your way to growing healthy plants from (almost) scratch!

First choose the bush you’d like to take a clipping from. The best time to take a clipping from any plant is usually shortly after it blooms and new growth is sprouting. Cut off a couple of the new chutes, leaving roughly twelve inches. Next, cut the new chute off with sharp, clean pruners at a 30-degree angle, leaving about six inches to be planted. Pull off the bottom leaves, leaving only one or two at the top, this will focus plant growth upward. I like to dip the branch into root hormone, making sure to cover well (this helps establish healthy roots quickly). Lastly, I plant in potting trays about an inch deep and cover with water. And just in case a couple don’t make it, I like plant a whole potting tray of the same plant to increase my odds.

The clippings I took for this article were from my awesome neighbors. I wrote a while back about a winter jasmine which was blooming through our shared fence. The fragrance from this bush is so sweet and the yellow blooms are such a nice bolt of color in the middle of winter that I had to have it. I have taken a couple clippings and hope to grow it around the entrance to the garden and by the front door, somewhere where it will really be noticed.

In addition to the winter jasmine, I grabbed some forsythia and a purple tea rose climber/bush. I’m addicted to forsythias and have them everywhere it seems. I took these for pots on the patio to bloom in the springtime. The roses are going to be a huge addition to our front garden if they take. I am going to train them up onto a trellis and archway for the beautiful scent they’ll provide as you enter the garden.

I first tried my hand at growing clippings a couple years back when we had just purchased this house. I had an empty slate of a front lawn to work with and thought to myself that finding and then funding plants for this yard was going to be exhaustive. I looked into starting plants from clippings and concluded that with a $5 bottle of root hormone and a little luck I couldn’t mess this up too badly. I tried a couple forsythias last summer and they both took and found a home in yard this year. Once I saw how easy it was, I found myself attempting to replicate almost all my plants! Good luck and happy growing everyone!

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