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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Solstice - Clone talk

Thought I'd take the Solstice as a good time to let the curious among you how my cloning efforts turned out. As you know the first thing I tried was fuchsia. I had had a nice red-on-red for 2 seasons and thought I'd see if I could get some more plants from it to entice more hummers to the deck. Initially I took 6 8" cuts from the dormant plant. Then about 4-6 weeks later, when the plant was breaking dormancy, I took 9 6" cuts of the softer stems.

Success! Both the hard- and softwood cuttings took root and now I have beaucoup red blooms in bright red pots to bring in the hummers.

And let's not forget those pretty dark pink coleus. A friend had given me a cut in November which I kept in water for 2 months. It finally rooted and I potted it up. But it did not thrive. So I cut it into 5 pieces and used rooting hormone and perlite. Now I have 5 lovely plants, all inside and one of them is blooming!

Since it had been in the dead of February and clone madness possessed me, I went outside, shoveled my way toward some shrubs and brought in more cuts: pink potentilla, an unknown viburnum and a wine-and-roses wigelia. I used the same techniques as above: rooting hormone, perlite and plastic baggy hoods. The pink potentilla surprised me and now I have 3 plants coming along very nicely.

But not all my efforts were successful. The wigelia and the viburnum never responded. And remember when I got about 2 dozen forsythia cuts from my neighbor when he trimmed up his shrub in late March? Well, from all of those cuts I got nada, zippo, none. *sigh* Oh well. I'm sure I'll try again.

Cloning was something new to try and had they all failed, I'd probably not do it again. But hey, a 50-50 return? Can't beat that with a stick!

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