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Starting Plants From Cuttings

Turn this leggy geranium into lots of beautiful flowers.

Whether you're saving your favorite annual over winter to you want to expand your garden, the techniques the same-cuttings. S

tart with a pruners, garden scissors, or a sharp knife and take cuttings about 3 to 4 inches long. I like to make my cutting right above a good set of healthy leaves so the remainder of the stem looks nice.

Once you have your cutting, remove the lower leaves, any buds, and flowers that maybe on that cutting. If you've had trouble rooting in the past, try rooting hormone. They contain fungicides to fight disease and hormones to encourage root development.

Dip the cut end in and stick it in vermiculite or well-drained potting mix to root. Cover it loosely with a plastic bag and move it to a bright, well-lit location and out of direct sun several weeks to root.

You'll be amazed at the many flowers youll have to add to your garden and share with your friends.

A bit more information: Make your own mini propagator. All you need is a 6 or 8 pot with drainage holes and a much smaller (about 2 diameter) terra cotta pot. Fill the larger pot with a well-drained potting mix or vermiculite. Place a stopper or cork in the drainage hole of the smaller terra cotta pot. Sink the smaller pot in the rooting media locating it in the middle of the larger pot.

Stick several cuttings in the rooting media surrounding the smaller container. Moisten. Fill the small container with water and place your new propagator in a large plastic bag. Use labels or pencils to make a framework to support the plastic. Set your propagator in a bright location out of direct sunlight. The small pot filled with water will keep the surrounding soil moist as the water moves through the terra cotta into the surrounding rooting media. The plastic covering increases humidity around the plant reducing moisture loss. Vent the plastic bag to prevent excess condensation collecting on the inside of the bag. Your mini propagator creates a better environment for rooting cuttings with less effort on your part.

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