Propagation is a favorite part of gardening for my kids and me. It is so fun to multiply your plants, and it’s also a great way to share your bounty with friends and family. I’ve had success with propagating three different ways: rooting, collecting seeds and dividing.
Rooting is basically cloning. There are several methods of doing this. My method is to take a piece of the plant and put it in a clear glass jar of water in a somewhat sunny spot. Make sure to pull off any leaves that are immerged in the water. Within several weeks you will see roots and voila! There is your new plant ready to be potted. We have successfully rooted all sorts of coleus, geraniums, jade plant, basil, rosemary, thyme, begonias, jasmine, Persian shield and others at the Tracy house. We keep trying new plants, and it is always exciting when we see new roots.
Collecting seeds is a fun activity for all ages. Just when the gardening season ends, you can collect the dried seed pods off of the plants. We used to collect them right into an envelope for winter storage. Now we collect so many seeds we use buckets! It is easier if you use scissors to collect the dried seed heads from the flowers. Seeds make a great gift for grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Another great way to multiply your existing plants is to divide your more mature plants. After I have had a plant for 3 years, I usually divide it. I divide spring-blooming plants in the fall and fall-blooming plants in the spring. Dividing is super easy. You just cut the plant in half with a shovel and dig around the outside of one half and then move it to its new home. You can also dig the whole thing out, divide it and then re-plant the parts. Your plants will be much healthier and happier being divided every few years and so will your relatives or friends you share them with.
Gardening has been a very joyful activity for the Tracys to do together, and propagating is a fun way to spread the joy.