Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rooting stem cuttings

Today is a rare spring-like day, even if there are still patches of snow on the ground. My unhappy herbs did manage to survive the winter, just long enough that I could use this warm day to take stem cuttings so that I won't have to buy new plants this spring. I learned everything I know about rooting stem cuttings in water from Easy Plant Propagation by Nancy J. Ondra.

This is a sprig of apple mint that I cut from my plant.

And here's the same sprig, with the lower leaves removed, ready for rooting.

I root my cuttings in mason jars filled with water. A square of chicken wire forms a structure that keeps the leaves out of the water.

The peppermint leaves are too small to catch on the chicken wire, so R made me a new structure out of hardware cloth.

Works perfectly!

I also took stem cuttings from basil and sage. I've done the basil and mints before, but not the sage, so I don't know if it will work or not. After I took this picture, I moved the jars to the back of the bay window--the cuttings want "bright but indirect light." I'll change the water every few days. In a couple of weeks, I should start to see roots. In four or five weeks, I'll be able to pot these. I'll have more plants than I want to pot, so if you're in the St. Louis area, let me know if you want a rooted cutting or two.

1 comment:

Kimker Hill Farm said...

Hi! Zach just showed me your blog. Very nice. I love the pictures of how you root the cuttings. I never thought of that. I think I'll try it.

If you still have start of some of the herbs, I'd like to try the apple mint & the peppermint. I've never grown either one before.

Kimker Hill Farm