How to Propagate Plants

Plant propagation is a lot of fun. You can share plants with friends, fill in your own garden and make exact genetic duplicates of plants you really like. The major methods of asexual propagation are cuttings, layering, budding and grafting. Cuttings involve rooting a severed piece of the parent plant; layering involves rooting a part of the parent and then severing it; and budding and grafting involve joining two plant parts from different varieties. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden has an excellent illustrated article on how to propagate plants asexually by three methods: division, stem cutting and leaf cutting. I love begonias. I mean I really, really love them. Begoniaceae is one of the lar

Make the Most of Your Basil Plant

Basil is the most frequently grown herb. It is easy to grow, delicious and attractive. Too often, however, it gets tall and leggy. It seems counter-intuitive but the more you prune basil the bushier it gets and the longer it will live. Harvest every couple of weeks. Cut basil stems with a pair of scissors about 1/4 inch above leaf sets or nodes. Start when the plants are small and prune as much as desired but leave at least two or three sets of leaves on each stem. From there, the basil plant branches off into several more stems. Flowering adversely affects the herb’s flavor and reduces the growth of new leaves, so pinch off buds as they appear. Bees and other pollinators love basil. Most v

A Favorite Weed - Oxalis debilis

Also known as pink sorrel is a pretty weed that has been showing up more and more in our area. The lovely five-petal blossoms grow above mounded clover-like leaves. The blooms close up in times of drought and at night. Pink sorrel is related to five other Florida sorrel’s including yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta), which is also called lucky clover. Pink sorrel grows anywhere and everywhere. One small plant produces as many as 5,000 seeds a year in tiny okra-like pods that pop explosively at maturity scattering the seeds widely. It also reproduces by rhizomes and is difficult to eradicate unless young plants are pulled up before they form dense mats from the rhizomes. It is a serious probl

More to do in the garden

Perennial Accent Plants Command Attention Do you need a focal point for an area of your garden? Consider architectural perennials such as crinums, heliconias and bird of paradise. These tropical plants boast size and presence and serve as striking focal points, anchors, and transitions in the landscape. Queen Emma Lily (Crinum augustum) Named for the Hawaiian queen, it tolerates a wide variety of conditions but prefers well-drained soil and full to part sun. In shadier locations the purplish leaves revert to green. Long-lived and reaching over 6 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide, this crinum blooms almost year round. Heliconia (Heliconia) Most of the 194 known species are indigenous to the tropical A

In the Garden - What to do

• Adjust irrigation based on rainfall. • Monitor the garden for insects and disease. • Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms. • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials and water as needed until established. • Mow lawns at recommended heights: Watch for drought stress and water as needed if rainfall has been spotty. Focus on new plantings and follow watering restrictions. When rains begin, shut down the irrigation system. Propagation Produce more plants by air layering, grafting, division, or cuttings. See Seeds and Propagation (Land and Garden) Mulch, Mulch, Mulch Use lots of mulch including barks, leaves and compost. Form layers 2- to 3- inches thick in tree and shrub plantings, less in flo

In the Garden -What to Plant

Tough Plants Gardeners at all levels of experience can appreciate a tough-as-nails plant. Maybe you are looking for a plant that you can finally keep alive. Maybe you want something easy to add to your landscape so you can devote more energy to your fussy plants. Or maybe you’re just looking to spruce up the garden with very little effort. The following plants are easy to care for and hard-to-kill choices for any Florida landscape. Annuals - Replace faded cool weather annuals that can take the heat. Some to consider include amaranthus, celosia, cole- us, crossandra, Dahlberg daisy, dahlia, gazania, impatiens, marigold, moss rose, nicotiana, pentas, portulaca, salvia, torenia, vinca and zinn

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