Now’s the time to increase your plant stock by taking cuttings.
• Take cuttings six inches long of indoor pelargoniums of all kinds. Leave one pair of leaves and the growing tip and cut just below a leaf joint. Insert in a sandy cutting medium and they should root in a month. Keep cuttings shaded and moist.
• This is the best time to take cuttings of all types of shrubs, yes, even camellias. Put them in a sandy compost mix in the shade. They will root in three weeks.
• Need a new strawberry bed? Put three-inch diameter pots filled with compost into the soil close to strawberry runners. Peg the runners’ tips into the compost with wreath wires bent like hairpins. They will root in a few weeks. Now plant the new plants where you want them. Strawberry plants in pots can be planted any time. Find the plants which produced the best fruit. Those with red leaves are not good enough to propagate.You’ll be surprised at the size of berries on the new plants. It makes all this effort worthwhile.
• After enjoying rose blooms as cut flowers, remove the dead head and all the leaves apart from the top pair and cut below the lowest joint on each stem. Place the stems in the greenhouse in a pottery vase (not a glass one). The stem bases need to be in the dark but the leaves must be in the light. Once the roots appear, fill the container with vermiculite. This will encourage masses of new roots. Pot each rooted cutting into four-inch diameter pots and plant out next spring.
• Bud roses on to rose stock planted last October. If you’ve never budded roses before and like a challenge, get a good book on how to propagate plants. Propagation is rewarding.