Category Archives: Propagation

Three new Black Currents for free- propagation using ‘layering’.

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Last spring I pegged down a low hanging branch from my black current, in the hopes of getting a new plant from it and it’s worked a treat!

Propagation using layering is as easy as pie, I do like to take cuttings but this method may take longer but works a treat and it’s so simple!

All you need to do is take a low hanging supple branch and either peg, bury or pop a heavy stone on top of it. I covered mine with about 7cm of soil and gave it a good water. You can see in the picture I’m pointing to the original branch that I layered, look at all those fab roots and the wonderful growth! Also be careful not to snap the branch as you bring it down to soil level.

Another point, ensure that it is able to respond to layering! Plants such as hybrid berries, some woody herbs, Hydrangea, Forsythia, honeysuckle, Wisteria – actually quite a lot, all respond nicely to this process. Then when it’s ready dig it up, cut it from it’s parent plant and either pot it up or find it a new home somewhere in your garden or allotment.

I have two plants from a Forsythia which was originally from my amazing Granddad Berty, who gave some to my Mum and then she did the same for me – it’s almost like a family tradition to pass it down! (The lovely thing is, when ever I look at it, especially when it’s in flower I think of my Granddad and his allotment and my Mum in her little veg plot).

It’s easy and gets great results, do it either now in spring or in autumn. And don’t be too impatient, just leave it to it and have a look the following spring or autumn. Although plants such as honeysuckle are loads quicker!

So new plants from old, that’s what it’s all about and it’s so simple… Happy gardening! X


Cyclamen seed and propagation.

In the depths of winter when everything is in it’s deep slumber, the trees look like great looming bones and not a flower is to be seen then a cheery cyclamen pops up pink, white, purple or red their bright colours seem to defy the darkness.

I think they are wonderful their patterned leaves and beautiful colours warm my heart. My mum treated me to some last year and they have been flowering all winter and even now in spring.

I was very excited to notice they have seed pods developing so I will be keeping a close eye on them and will wait to collect them. (I adore collecting seed it’s saves so much money, and I will be honest, it’s like collecting treasure.)

As you can see from my picture they aren’t quite ready yet, I have heard, when the time is right to collect as the stem which holds the seed starts to coil up like a cork screw bringing the seed closer to the ground. A clever little plant indeed! This is how they spread their enchanting carpets of rich foliage and captivating flowers through the woodlands. Clever, because by doing this they bag the space shadowing out the other seedlings with their foliage.

But what to do once the seed pod is ready to be picked? The seeds within will need soaking for 24 hrs and rinsed. Then pop them onto the surface of moist free draining low nutrient compost, covering with a moderate layer of compost which which help push the seed coat off the emerging seedling. They tray should be covered with black plastic as they require complete darkness for germination and a constant temperature, no higher than 15C. Once the seedling appear you should put them into a light position again maintaining a constant temperature. Also they like a bit of humidity this helps the pesky seed coat to fall off.

Fingers crossed these little fellas should be pricked out 8-10 weeks from sowing again into a low nutrient well drained compost. It’s important at this point that. The newly developing corm is just visible above the compost.

After about 8 weeks they should be pricked out into pots, don’t leave it too long! As their leaves will get all tangled together. Again when pricking out ensure their corm is just seen at the top of the compost and watering in will help. If they are too deep the corm may suffer from Botrytis. Be gentle when potting them up and place them into a well structured compost. The important thing is to keep them moist, not waterlogged; after all your hard work you don’t want the crowns to rot away.

To feed 2:1:1 NKP weekly, then once buds appear change to a 1:1:1 increasing to a 1:1:2 as the flowers develop.

Ok this might sound like a lot of hard work, but sometimes it’s good to have a little challenge, something to set your mind to; and when everything looks dark and grey in winter you can look forward to their majestic blooms to see you through to late spring.

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