***This post is sponsored by the good folks at Moen*** Having a baby changes everything – especially homeowner to-dos. It’s time to transform this family’s bathroom into a shared space that works for the entire family.
This weekend, why not raise your own boxwood hedge from cuttings and save a grand? More about that after this....from the find people at MOEN.
As my job is to keep you busy and inspired on weekends - this post, which is sponsored by MOEN, has a great video series about real DIY projects, which they produced in a very smart and quite watchable style of a well-done DIY TV show. I also am including my version of a what just might be an equally cost effective way to multiply your favorite plants, so I wrote a DIY gardening post which is topical, as September offers us the opportunity for enormous cost-savings if we propagate some of those plants that emptied our wallets last spring. Mainly, expensive annuals, tender tropicals and yes -box wood hedging. You can thank me later.
September is the best time to take cuttings from many summer annuals, patio tropicals and even boxwood. Many annuals make great house plants - and although you can dig a coleus or an impatiens up from the garden, pot it up as my mom used to do before every frost, and place it on your windowsill where the plant will bloom for much of the winter. The truth is, many of these annuals perform better if fresh cuttings are taken rather than digging up a plant which may be getting tired after spending a summer blooming outdoors.
HELIOTROPE CUTTINGS WILL MAKE STRONG PLANTS, BUT THIS TENDER TROPICAL CAN ALSO BE CUT BACK AND BROUGHT INTO THE COLD GREENHOUSE OR SUNNY COOL WINDOW, WHERE FRAGRANT BLOOMS CAN BE ENJOYED ON SNOWY DAYS.
In the 1800's, many annuals and tender tropicals would be moved into the greenhouse for the winter, where they could be re-trained after being cut back, and then brought into the late winter or early spring conservatory or estate windows. Plants such as abutilon ( parlor maples), fragrant heliotrope, and even marigolds would become winter-blooming potted plants. Today, many of these plants are making a comeback, but rather than digging up an impatiens or bringing in an overgrown wax begonia, fresh cuttings will result in a better plant.
SALVIA SPECIES, YET TO BLOOM IN OCTOBER, CAN BE CARRIED THROUGH THE WINTER AS STOCK PLANTS IF CUTTINGS ARE TAKEN NOW. AT $7.00 -$10.00 PER PLANT, THIS SAVINGS CAN REALLY ADD UP.
GARDENIA CUTTINGS ROOT EASILY IN SEPTEMBER, AS THE GREEN SHOOTS ARE NOT YET WOODY, THE PERFECT TIME TO ROOT. GARDENIA ROOT EASILY, AND WE JUST PLACE CUTTINGS IN GLASSES OF WATER WHICH WE KEEP OVER THE KITCHEN SINK. THE PLANT ON THE RIGHT WAS ROOTED IN AUGUST.
SOME COSTLY AND RARE PLANTS CAN BE CARRIED THROUGH THE WINTER, OFFERING GREAT COST SAVINGS. THIS IS A CUTTING OF AN IMPATIENS SODENII, A PLANT WHICH CAN GROW TO 6 FEET TALL IN THE SHADE GARDEN. HARD TO FIND, THESE CUTTINGS ARE PRECIOUS (AND EASY).
MOST CUTTINGS CAN BE ROOTED IN A SIMPLE FLAT OF CLEAN, STERILE SAND. I USE PLAY SAND WHICH I BUY AT THE HARDWARE STORE. CUTTINGS OF VARIOUS PLANTS CAN THEN BE COLLECTED WITH A SHARP KNIFE, NEVER SECATEURS OR CLIPPERS. LOOK FOR THE EASIEST ONES - COLEUS, IMPATIENS, GERANIUM, FUCHSIA, SALVIA, BUT DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
CLEAN CUTTINGS CAREFULLY, REMOVING ALL BUT ONE OR TWO PAIRS OF LEAVES. NODES -THE SPOT WHERE THE LEAVES CONNECT TO THE STEM, IS OFTEN WHERE ROOTS WILL FORM MOST EASILY, SO MAKE YOUR SHARP, ANGLED CUT JUST BELOW A NODE. I USE ROOTING HORMONE, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO. IT IS SIMPLY VITAMINS AND ROOT-STIMULATING HORMONES MIXED WITH TALC.
CUTTINGS ARE WATERED IN, AND THEN PLACED EITHER OUTDOORS IN THE SHADE, PROTECTED FROM FROST, OR ON A PORCH, UNDER A DECK CHAIR, OR UNDER A SHRUB UNTIL FROST THREATENS. THE FLAT CAN THEN BE BROUGHT INDOORS UNTIL ROOTS FORM.
BOXWOOD ROOTS BEST IF CUTTINGS ARE TAKEN IN SEPTEMBER. THEY WILL TAKE TWO MONTHS TO ROOT, BUT IMAGINE THE SAVINGS. WE GET ABOUT 200 NEW PLANTS EVERY AUTUMN. THESE CUTTINGS ARE TREATED THE SAME WAY AS ANNUALS - REMOVE LEAVES, CUT STEM TO A NODE, DIP IN ROOTING HORMONE, AND PLACED IN SAND. FLATS HOWEVER CAN BE LEFT OUTDOORS UNTIL NOVEMBER, WHEN ROOTS ARE JUST BEGINNING TO FORM. THEY ARE THEN PLACED IN A ROW IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN, AND SIDE-DRESSED WITH HAY.