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Propagate Plants The Easy Way...With Easy To Make Mini-Greenhouses

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Picture of Propagate Plants The Easy Way...With Easy To Make Mini-Greenhouses
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An ancient practice for many gardeners has always been propagating plants from healthy specimens on hand.  The obvious reasons are to save money, but it's a good way to increase the landscape plants one needs to cover a given area.  You also know what you are getting as the young plants are clones of the "mother" plant.  I have shown how to make mini-greenhouses that should last long enough to insure the growth or formation of good root systems.  The new plants can then be transplanted to pots, or into the ground as you choose. 
 
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Step 1: Get Cardboard Blanks Ready

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Here, I measured the potting tubs that I wanted to use, and decided to make two greenhouses.  I therefore needed two cardboard blanks of 14x17in.  

Step 2: Trim Some Plastic Bags To Fit the Blanks

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These are regular grocery bags, and will insure the water resistance of the cardboard.  The greenhouses don't have to be water proof, as we only need them for a short while.

Step 3: Glue Plastic To Cardboard With Spray Adhesive

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This step is self explanatory...other, heavier plastic film can be used as well. Whatever you have on hand and suits the need.

Step 4: Score and Cut the Cardboard/Plastic Blanks As Shown

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I wanted a 4 inch edge so scored the cardboard at about 3 and 3/4 inch to allow for folding.  This can be done before the plastic is glued in place.  Cut out the four corners so that you can fold the edges up and tape them in place.

Step 5: Check Fit of Plant Trays

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Make sure your tray fits easily.  Then proceed to step six.

Step 6: Tape "Greenhouses" Together.

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I used box tape to tack the ends together as shown.  Later, a heavier piece of tape was applied to insure the strength of the joint.  Again, these don't have to be elaborate, as they will only be used for a short while.

Step 7: Select Cuttings From Healthy Plants

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It's best to gather cuttings in mid spring as this is when the plant(s) are at their peak growing stage.  Carefully select growing ends that have several leaves attached.  Cut about a 2 to 4 inch piece that you have selected for propagating.  Use a sharp, clean cutting instrument such as a scalpel or even very sharp scissors.

Step 8: Have Planting Media Ready to Accept Cuttings.

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Any good sterile garden potting mix, clean sand, perlite, vermiculite, etc. can be used as a potting media.  I have not had a problem using regular potting mix, but have made special mixtures as the need arises.  Consulting experts through gardening books is a good idea, always.

Step 9: Dip Each Cutting Into Rooting Hormone.

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Rooting hormone aids in the formation of new roots on the cuttings. This can be obtained at plant nurseries or wherever plants are sold.

Step 10: Insert Cuttings Into Holes Pre-Drilled In Potting Soil

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Carefully place cuttings so that the rooting hormone is not wiped off as you insert the stem. The soil mix has been pre-soaked so that watering will not be necessary and will not wash off any of the rooting hormone.

Step 11: Cover Greenhouses With Plastic Wrap or Any Clear Piece of Plastic

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Plastic wrap is easily available, and can be secured with a rubber band.  Place greenhouses in bright light, but NOT direct sunlight as you don't want to "cook" the cuttings.  Check progress from time to time, and if desired, you can spray or mist the cuttings. Within two to three weeks you should have firmly rooted cuttings, ready to be transplanted.  With six cuttings done this way, you have just saved about 30 bucks!  Congratulations!

Step 12: Young Successful Clone Plants

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Other plants are eligible for this treatment as well. One of the pictues shows two varieties of sweet potato plants, easily and successfully propagated.
grannyjones5 years ago
Just be careful; If you happen to root cuttings from a 'patented' plant; you are in violation of the regulations printed on the label--I do not really know if the warning that you can't even propagate for your own use is genuine; or just scare tactics.  Just curious if anyone has tested this. . .
It would seem to me, if you are propagating your own plants, for yourself, there shouldn't be a foul here. After all, you purchased the plant/seed so growing them should be a part of the unsaid contract.

I would just see this like making backup copies of a CD for which you legitimately own. (and are NOT selling copies to others, of course)
the companies that patent plants prohibit propagating even for your own use. The reasoning is if you can grow more for yourself you won't buy any more from them. That being said I really don't see how they would police such a thing.
you mean, codex alimentarius?
mikeyd19515 years ago
This works on a lot of "herbs" too. I did it a lot back in the day using vermiculite.
mikchil5 years ago
It helps to make the cut from the mother plant underwater.  Otherwise the cutting is likely to "inhale" some air and that can interfere with initial transfer of nutrients up the stem ... not usually a fatal thing but they do better if that doesn't happen.
DNMEBOY5 years ago
That particular plant there propagates really well. Infact I never use any root hormones at all. At first I was leaving cuttings in a glass of water and that would take a month or more to root. Since realizing that I have just stuck them directly into organic potting soil and water them. They always root. Well 99% of the time. This is how I have kept the plants at work alive and going for the last year. If one dies I simply replace it with a cutting from another plant.

Good idea though with the mini green houses.
Creativeman (author)  DNMEBOY5 years ago
Thanks. Cman
ChrysN5 years ago
Nice! You can definitely save money this way!
Creativeman (author)  ChrysN5 years ago
Thanks Chrys. Cman