4 simple ways to propagate your plants

Plant propagation is one of the most interesting aspects of gardening, notably because it allows you to save lot of time and money. Here are four effective techniques that will help you to easily accomplish this.

4 simple ways to propagate your plants

1. Layering

This propagation technique consists of encouraging the new plant to root before being separated from the parent plant.

It is used with perennials like rosemary and sage in late spring or early summer.

How to do it:

  • Tilt a smooth, flexible stem until it touches the ground.
  • Remove the leaves around the bend and do an incision on the bottom with a sharp knife.
  • Secure it to the ground or the surface of the pot with hair pins or wire.
  • Cover it with soil.
  • Water regularly to keep the soil moist until roots develop, after four to eight weeks.
  • You can then separate the new plant and transplant it elsewhere.

2. Propagation by stolons

Strawberries, sweet violets, mint and ground ivy have the characteristic of producing stolons that take root in contact with the ground.

How to do it:

  • Detach and carefully dig up new plants that have developed roots and plant them in another location.
  • It is best to grow plants that tend to propagate very quickly this way in pots/containers.

3. Cuttings

The cutting of herbaceous or semi-herbaceous branches is done in spring or early summer from young shoots (lemon balm or mint, for example). Hardwood cuttings (rosemary) should be done from the middle of summer to the middle of autumn.

How to do it:

With rooting hormone

  1. Take a piece (4 to 6 centimetres) of a young shoot that is not yet hardened and remove the lower leaves.
  2. Dip the stem into rooting hormone (powder or gel) to stimulate the emergence of new roots.
  3. Transplant the stem into a container filled with soil for rooting/cuttings.
  4. Using a spray bottle, water thoroughly, and then plant the cutting in a sheltered spot, receiving indirect natural light.
  5. Make a mini-dome with a plastic bottle.

In a glass of water:

  • Another method is to immerse the cuttings into a glass of water sheltered from the sun and wait for the appearance of roots, one to two weeks later.
  • Change the water regularly and transplant the cutting into a pot/container or into the ground.
  • This method suits mint and basil.

4. Division

Another technique for plant propagation is to divide them. It works very well with perennials like yarrow, bergamot (Monarda didyma), tarragon and chives, during their dormant period or before the appearance of seedlings in early spring. This is a good way to revitalize a plant which has become too large or to fill another part of the garden.

How to do it:

  1. Dig up the clump with a spade.
  2. Start by loosening the soil around the plant and cut the old stems and leaves to better distinguish the new shoots.
  3. Divide the clump using two garden fork-style spades driven in back to back, or a knife, depending on the density of the roots or stems.
  4. Make sure that each part has young shoots.
  5. If the clumps are large, you can divide them again.
  6. Some plants are easy to manually split and can give a large number of new plants.
  7. Transplant the new plants into the ground or into pots/containers, watering them regularly until they have recovered well.

In addition to allowing you to refresh your garden, plant propagation will permit you to expand it so that you have everything you need.

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