Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Notes on Preparing the Garden for Winter, Part 2: Taking Cuttings


From Marion's Collection of Fuchsia

We are nearing the end of October and the days of working comfortably outdoors are numbered.

We have had a few lovely, sun-shiny days of late, but after a few hours in the garden the damp cold sneaks inside your shoes and numbs the tips of your fingers. Thankfully the warmth of the kitchen and a mug of steaming hot coffee are an easy remedy for getting chilled outdoors.

There is still lots to do: end-of-season bulbs bought at a discount yet to plant, leaves to rake and last minute projects to wrap up and complete.

As well as the usual chores, I have been experimenting with new ways to keep non-hardy plants going.


The Entrance to Marion Jarvie's Garden

A good part of the inspiration for these experiments comes from watching the video series with Carol Klein at work in her garden and Marion Jarvie's class on preparing the garden for winter.

Marion's collection of container plants

On the flag stone patio at the back her house, Marion has a pair of decorative urns and 
a very nice collection of plants in pots.

Marion's collection of container plants

Some pots contain annuals, but the majority are plants that spend the summer months vacationing on the patio and the winter months indoors or in the greenhouse that she has at the side of her home.


Marion's collection of container plants

Marion's fuchsias above and below


Fuchsia plants are not at all hardy here. In the past I have always bought new plants each spring, but this can get expensive. 

I was inspired to learn that Marion keeps her fuchsia plants going by taking cuttings and storing a few of her favourites in her greenhouse. 

Now I don't have a greenhouse, but I am able to take cuttings.


As well as taking cuttings from my fuchsias, I have also been experimenting with rosemary and coleus. 

I have learned that is best to take cuttings in the morning when the mother plant has the most moisture. When working with rosemary, I snipped off two inch segments from the tips of each of the plants in my herb garden and placed them in a glass of water while I continued to work. 

Then I took each cutting and removed all the leaves on the lower half of each shoot. 

At this point you can dip the end of each cutting in rooting hormone to help the cutting to root faster, but I skipped this step, and simply inserted each of my cuttings directly into moist potting soil (In each of my pots I used potting soil overtop an inch or so of fine gravel). 


Now I know I have hopelessly crowded the cuttings into a single pot, but in a month or two when the cuttings have rooted, I will repot them as needed. 

I put the potted cuttings in a bright window (avoid direct sun) and have been keeping an eye on them to insure the soil does not dry out. 

So far so good. 


The coleus cuttings which I did about a month ago seem to be showing fresh signs of growth. 

Fingers crossed I will have good sized plants come spring and will saved myself the expense of buying new ones.

33 comments:

  1. Breathtaking pictures ! Marvelous colors at Marion's. Good luck with cuttings !!

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  2. Lol....how sweet is that little snail!
    I really LOVE Marion's garden and wonder how she does it. It's always good to take cuttings isn't it, I took lots a month ago, especially lavender and most of them are growing well. It does save a fortune on plants as you say.xxxx

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  3. It's good to make new plants for nothing and once you get the hang of it, cuttings are such a good way to increase your favourite plants. I have lots now growing in the greenhouse, mainly of penstemons, we should have lots for next year and I won't need to buy any!

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  4. I've done this with coleus with very good results. I've also just kept them in water all winter, letting the roots grow. They seem to do fine.

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  5. This is so helpful Jennifer! and I love Marian's beautiful garden. I am such a lazy gardener when it comes to trying to winter-over tender things. I need to improve in this area. I live in zone 3/4 and really try to only plant the hardiest things. I really loved seeing all your beautiful photos!

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  6. I haven't done a lot of cuttings in the past, but that would be fun winter project! It's also reassuring that those of us that don't have a greenhouse can still have success.

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  7. This is brilliant! I purchase sooooo much coleus so this would help me out quite a bit as far as my yearly budget is concerned. I will have to watch that video and take some notes this winter for next year. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer and I hope you are well!

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  8. Your new header photo is glorious, Jennifer! I sure hope you can keep these cuttings going all winter long. Everyone will be in awe of how you have such pretty plants growing so early in the season next spring! I just bought some new hardy fuchsias that are basically a cutting rooted into a pot. But I really, really like them and once they get going, I think I will take some cuttings and expand my collection.

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  9. How neat! It really doesn't get cold enough here for us to ever stop gardening...wish it did, it would be nice to take a little break. It is always fun to take cuttings. I love the little snail, he is too cute.

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  10. Good luck with the cutting! Your garden is fabulous, neatly arranged and it looks so good. As fall progresses and temperatures drop, those plants that aren't killed outright by frost prepare for dormancy. I'm a beginner in gardening and I have a small herbal garden. I love having fresh herb blends at my finger tips.

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  11. Interesting idea of taking cuttings. I thing you have to keep permanent humidity in this room.The cutting are sensitive to dry air.I had have some impatience cuttings last year but they couldn't survive at home. Good luck, Jennifer!

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  12. I have never had the opportunity to see Marion Jarvie's garden and I don't think it is open to the public very often either. Lucky you. The photos of her garden and pots are inspiring. I can see why you'd want to learn how to overwinter the fushia.

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    1. Hi Patty, Marion's garden is open to the public by appointment and on a number of occasions during the gardening season. To check the open garden dates for next year you should visit her website: http://www.marionjarvie.ca/Marion_Jarvie/Profile.html

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    2. Thanks Jennifer. I have the 2014 dates written on my calendar now.

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  13. So much to do here in NH but a few gifts of warm weather will have me back outside seeing what I may have forgotten

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  14. Everything looks so lush and gorgeous! :-)

    http://tinajoathome.com/

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  15. Her garden is lovely. I too take cuttings of those plants for next year,s garden.

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  16. Thanks Jennifer ... I didn't know you could take cloeus cuttings so will try it asap before the naughty first frost kills all the tender things off !

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  17. Hi Jennifer
    Great idea to take cuttings of rosemary and coleus. Hopefully the cuttings continue to stay healthy and grow into bushy plants. You certainly can save a lot of money by doing it this way!

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  18. Loved the photos from the Marion Jarvie’s garden, especially all the containers. I also take cuttings every year, too many! I end up with plants I don’t have room for in my garden. But all my cuttings have to spend the winter outside as I don’t have a greenhouse. This year I have taken cuttings of tender geraniums and will make an exception for the first time and take that trays upstairs in one of the bedrooms until April next year. I hope I can manage to grow them indoors as the geraniums were lovely and I will save a lot of money this way.

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  19. I admire how ambitious you are. I never get around to taking cuttings. Love that stone path in one of the first photos.

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  20. A very timely post, Jennifer! I've never had a lot of luck with taking cuttings, partly because I tend to forget about them through the winter. This year I've vowed to do better. I have a lot of coleus in water right now that need to be potted very soon. I found a few new coleus this year that I just loved, so I hope they will survive the winter so that I can enjoy them again next year. It also certainly would save some money next spring!

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  21. P.S. Marion's garden is gorgeous!

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  22. I also have decided to start some cuttings to cut expenses and add more plants easily. I hope to cut some rosemary and thyme and keep them going in my growing station in the basement.

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  23. Love your pictures - the garden is stunning. I am a new follower.
    Mary

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  24. Hmmm... to root rosemary or basil, I just stick them in a little vase on the windowsill and forget about them. They create so many roots! I have a little coleus sprig a friend gave me that's also rooting that way. I just moved the basil to a pot because it was growing new leaves. So far, so good. Gorgeous garden photos. :o)

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  25. Gorgeous garden photos, Jennifer! :)

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  26. Great post. This was my first year attempting it and the results were mixed. My coleus rooted beautifully simply by sticking a broken piece in potting soil. Then I left it out to freeze. Oops. I forgot the part about bringing it inside to a windowsill. Better luck next year!

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  27. Good for you Jennifer! Brilliant work saving these cuttings and growing your own. I have thought of this a time or two but am hopelessly lazy and have the worst luck with cuttings. I have repeatedly tried to bring my rosemary inside to overwinter but kill it every time. This year decided I was just going to cut the whole thing down and dry it instead of watching the usual slow painful death.

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  28. You have make beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

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  29. Marion's garden is awesome, I love that entrance. You're so good getting cuttings made...I waited too long this year. I'm sure you'll have great luck with yours.

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  30. I love the entrance to Marion's garden, and her plantings are inspirational! Good luck with your cuttings!

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