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SUCCESSFUL GROWING

March 22, 2018

Adapted in part from LearnToGrow.com

               

Planting


Dig holes or beds wide, not deep

Lightly amend heavy clay or sandy soils with organic matter

Gently remove plants from containers, keeping the root ball intact

Loosen potting soil and roots around bottom and edges of root ball

Plant level with surrounding soil, spreading roots outward

Fill around roots with lightly amended native soil

Cover the area with leaf or bark mulch 1 - 3 inches thick but not piled up onto the plant's stem/trunk

Water deeply to establish

 

Watering

Fast-growing herbaceous plants require more attention to watering than woody plants

When possible, water in the morning to avoid promoting diseases from night watering

Water slowly and deeply when plants begin to wilt and do not perk up at night

Watering twice, a few minutes apart, helps water soak in deeper

Soaker hoses and trickle or "drip" irrigation are very efficient and water-conservative

Never overwater, or you may cause root problems

In dry climates, form a soil "ring" around plants to hold water longer

                                          

Pruning


Tall or leggy plants may be cut or pinched back to stimulate strong new growth

Cut or pinch stems of flowering or foliage plants just above leaves or old leaf joints

Thin excess growth so remaining growth will be more vigorous

"Deadhead" - remove faded flowers or seed heads to stimulate new flowering growth

Remove dead, faded, or diseased foliage as needed

Remove some foliage during transplanting to reduce stress on new roots

Clean up plants at end of the season to reduce pest/disease buildup and keep area neat

Avoid putting diseased plant parts in the compost, or risk spreading diseases later

 

 

 

 

PROPAGATION

Methods include sexual reproduction from seeds and asexual propagation from a variety of methods including: stem, leaf, and root cuttings, root division, layers & suckers, air-layering, budding, and grafting.

                                          

Propagation from Seed

              Collect seed from mature plants early in the season to avoid seed-borne disease

              Place seed in labeled envelopes or containers (include year that seeds were collected)

Store in a cool, dry place indoors. Sow seed of perennials such as coneflowers, coreopsis, and others in the late summer or late spring, keeping them moist and giving them enough time to sprout and grow roots before extreme cold or hot weather

              Refrigerate seed if long-term storage is desired

 

Propagation from Stem Cuttings

              Take leafy cuttings from new growth, a few inches long

              Strip or prune off bottom leaves, leaving three or four at the top

              Insert into moist potting soil or water.

              Place in bright but indirect light

              Cover with a plastic "tent" or cut-off soda bottle to retain humidity (not Really necessary in our climate)

              Keep moist, not wet

 

Notes Some annual cuttings root readily in water; follow all the other directions

Dipping cut ends in rooting hormones gel or powder may increase propagation success of semi-hardwood cuttings like Hibiscus, Schefflera, Arelia, and Philodendron;  and hardwood cuttings including Bougainvillea and Ixora.

 

Propagation from Leaf Cuttings

Leaf Cuttings: Leaves of Kalanchoe, Sedum, Echeveria, Begonia Rex,  Peperomia, and African Violets placed on moist sandy growing medium will sprout babies Sansevieria, Gasteria and Drimiopsis can be propagated by using an entire leaf or by planting leaf sections.

 

Propagation
by Division

Divide clump-forming perennials such as hosta, daylily, iris, sedum, phlox, and most ornamental grasses in the late fall or late winter into individual plants, each with a piece of stem, crown (body), and roots

Sow seed of perennials such as coneflowers, coreopsis, and others in the late summer or late spring, keeping them moist and giving them enough time to sprout and grow roots before extreme cold or hot weather

Some perennials, including sedum and phlox, root readily from stem cuttings taken in summer

Keep newly-propagated perennials moist, not wet, and cover the soil underneath with          mulch to protect roots from weather extremes and to reduce competition from weeds

Fertilization

Most plants need a regular "diet" of all-purpose plant food, either specialty (labeled for your specific plant type) or a generic N-P-K (nitrogen - phosphorus - potassium)
Fertilize early in the plant's growing cycle - spring for summer plants, fall for winter plants

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