The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Propagating Isn’t Pretty May 6, 2008

This contraption is really ugly, but garshdarnit, I’m going to blog about it. There’s just so much cute around here, anyway, that it’s about time that homely had its day. The photo is of a propagation vessel based on something called a Forsyth pot, something that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen but that I gather is a specialized container with a slow-watering component and well-suited to propagating plants by stem cuttings. I hope I don’t sound pedantic, but I am pretty psyched that I’m retaining more information more readily than I have since I was 10 and mad-crazy about ponies.

So, I read about making this Forsyth-on-the-fly in one of my gardening books and subsequently raided my mother’s pot stockpile for the appropriate pieces: a wide, flat pot and any old terra-cotta pot. I spent a couple days (!) figuring out how to plug up the drainage hole more or less successfully (that’s aluminum foil). Then I put in vermiculite and cuttings from plants I’m either (a) champing at the bit to have more of (lavender), or (b) just kind of daring to make themselves anew (coleus, prostrate rosemary). I am more or less fervently hoping that these things will form roots and become viable on their own.

I tried propagating lavender a week or so ago by layering, but then read that that’s not the best way — this is. Dunno. I just want a lot of lavender that I can guerrilla-plant along the back access door of the local CVS. Don’t worry, Ma, it’s a project of beautification!

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5 Responses to “Propagating Isn’t Pretty”

  1. letsplant Says:

    Go Guerrilla!! I like the idea of slow watering the cuttings that way. Very simple!! I do alot of cuttings and will try this next time. I spend alot of time watering! LOL!! Thanks for the tip!!

  2. Nancy Bond Says:

    Looks like a great system — be sure to show us pics of how your cuttings progress! đŸ™‚

  3. Dave Says:

    Interesting idea! It doesn’t look bad to me at all. Of course that is coming from someone who uses recycled plastic containers of various kinds to propagate plants. I’d like to see how you systems works out. I’d like to add some lavender to my gardens as well (without having to buy it!)

  4. Mrs Be Says:

    Wow, you are *so* much more knowledgeable than me. Never knew these things existed!

    I really hope it works. And the guerrilla gardening sounds cool too!

  5. concretegardening Says:

    CVS, huh? Genius. Plants are meant to be shared.

    Am I the only one who gets the creeps when plants say “propagation prohibited?” I say hooey! I’m giving away Christmas Cacti for Christmas this year that are illegal. No life is illegal. SCREW patents!

    I’m going to spend tomorrow looking for “free” plants for “beautification.” Plus, most plants can do with a little bit of pinching here and there!


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