How to Use Cuttings to Increase Plants

Butterfly Gardening

If you’re looking for ways to save money in your monthly budget, but still would like to have lots of garden plants, here is one option – Cuttings. Early Fall is a great time to start this process. Don’t wait until later as the plant physiology starts to change and you’ll have less success with the cuttings.

Plant Propagation Checklist

  1. Buy a soil-less potting mix, rooting hormone, Osmocote  and a seed germination tray from your local garden supply store.  If you can buy an extra bottom tray that would make it easier and safer when moving the trays around. I prefer the trays with 36 cells per tray. You don’t want soil, but a potting mix without soil. I prefer BX Promix since this is what professionals use. It’s more expensive and can be hard to find.
  2. Put as much potting mix as you think you’ll need in a…

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2018 Monarch Migration

This was another great year for Monarchs in St. Louis Missouri. Here is what my front yard looks like right now.

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Monarch Tagging Party

monarch-dsc04726Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with Monarch butterflies.

Tom Terrific is hosting a tagging party where you will learn how to tag a Monarch and send it off on it’s trip to Mexico.

This party is mainly for kids, but adults are welcome also.

Date – Saturday – Sept. 29th

Time – 2 to 4 p.m.

Place: 9016 Robyn Rd. 63126
You can park at the school.
Come around to the back yard.

Below is some more information on tagging the Monarchs.

http://monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm

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Cuttings and Garden Tour

Monday – Sept. 10th – 10 a.m. – 9016 Robyn Rd – 63126

DSC05686-800I am doing not only doing a tour of my Butterfly Gardens, but also teaching a class on how to propagate plants by cuttings.

We’ll be using my Miss Huff lantana for cuttings, so bring a cutting device and a glass/plastic container so you can take the cuttings home.

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Zinnias – My Favorites

While I have grown zinnias for many years, almost all of them suffer from bad mildew at some point in the season. Many times, they look so bad that I end up pulling them from the garden.

I have found three versions which seem to be resistant to mildew.

Zinnia – Forecast from Burpee.com $5.99 for 50 seeds.
zinnia-forecast-600

I started these in mid-June and they not only have been blooming ever since, but even though they have been surrounded by plants with mildew, these flowers have not caught the disease. They claim to have different colors, but most of mine are shades of pink. I direct seeded these into the garden.

Zinnia angustifolia – Yellow – Summerhill Seeds. $2.50 for 50 seeds.

zinnia-angustifolia-800These zinnias only grow 12-18 inches tall and don’t develop mildew.
They seem to come true from seed and they are easy to germinate.  I planted some seeds in my beds and they came up just fine.

 My final favorite is Profusion Zinnia.

zinnia-profusion-800Park Seed or your favorite nursery will probably have these. They have larger flowers than Angustifolia, but are about the same height. You can see the difference in the above photo.

 

 

 

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2% Make It

I have received a couple of emails recently wondering why their caterpillars were not doing well or dying.

One of the experts,Dr. Karen Oberhauser, in a recent Monarch program says that only 2% of Monarchs make it from the egg to butterfly stage. She mainly talks about insects and parasitoids, but there are also diseases and even the milkweed liquid can kill the small caterpillars.

If you do want to increase the odds of the Monarchs, you can raise them yourself. It’s a fun process and fairly easy to do.

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Soil Mixes

kellogg-web2

I noticed that Home Depot is carrying a number of Kellogg brand soil mixes, so I decided to buy all three and see what the difference is between them.

  1. Raised Bed and Potting Mix – $8.27/2cu.ft. – This mix had 2.5 cups of large wood particles out of 12 cups. Other than that, it is similar to #3 – the Premium Potting Mix.
  2. Garden Soil – This is not Top Soil. At $6.97, it is the cheapest, but is more like a nice mulch, not a soil for planting. it has 4 cups of large wood chips out of 12 cups. It does not contain perlite.
  3. Potting Mix – Premium Mix for Outdoor Containers. This seems like a nice mix for use in a pot or in the garden. Out of 12 cups, it only had 1 cup of large wood chips and perlite. This is my favorite and at $6.47/1.5 cu.Ft., it seems like a good buy.

All three contain tiny amounts of fertilizer, so you will have to add your own fertilizer to these mixes.
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kellogg-topper-600

Kellogg – All Natural Topper – a new product I just discovered. Unfortunately it contains 4 cups of large particles out of 12 cups. $6.27/1.5 cu. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

natures-care-600

Here is another brand from Miracle Grow – Natures Care – organic raised bed soil. Unfortunately, it is about 40% wood particles. It would make a nice mulch. It has a little nutrition, but not much. It also doesn’t have perlite.

 

 

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