As you may have gathered from the title, something is sprouting. But what is it? you ask. It’s the middle of winter! And you haven’t told us about planting anything.
Well, it’s thyme! Little tiny sprouts of thyme (pronounced like time) in my herb garden. See?
I planted it this week. The seeds were so tiny I couldn’t see where I was putting them, so they came up all over the place. It said fifteen days to sprout on the packet, but it didn’t take nearly as long, since I planted it this week. I hope it will grow up to be like my basil and cilantro soon and we can use it to make yummy food!
Seeds are one method of propagation, which means reproduction (producing children or offspring) for plants. Seeds come from flowers of adult plants and, when planted, make more plants, which grow up to produce more seeds, which grow and… It goes on forever. But another way to propagate plants is to take cuttings. That means to cut a piece off of a plant and turn it into another plant! Magic, right? Well, it’s not that hard!
This is my mother’s houseplant- a Kalanchoe. Kalanchoe are succulents, which means that they store water in their leaves. It wasn’t always this small. It was a lot bigger before she pruned it. And pruning is essentially the same as taking cuttings. Succulents are the easiest to propagate, so I figured it would be worth a try!
And here are my baby plants! They haven’t grown at all and they are a little wilted since I keep forgetting to water them, but they are alive!
Easy steps to propagating a succulent:
- Cut off pieces of a plant. If you want to keep the plant, don’t cut off the main stem! Just cut off side branches or smaller leaves, and make sure to leave enough for the plant to survive.
- Let the plant pieces dry off for a few days. When they are ready to plant, the part where it was broken off of the main plant should be dry and scabbed over. Don’t worry, they’re still alive!
- Put the bottom of the stem in a pot full of moist soil. Make sure to water your plants a lot.
Just keep watering them and cuttings will flourish. The instructions are the same for non-succulents, except that you have to be more careful and maybe not let them dry out for as long. And there you have it! How to propagate.
Propagate those plants and I’ll post next week!