Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trees and Plants from Little Bits

Everything wants to live.  This includes the bits of stored energy in citrus and avocado seeds, cuttings of herbs, scraps of vegetables, rhizomes like ginger and turmeric.  Some of the strongest tomato plants are volunteers that overwintered in soil or a compost pile.

Short lists of plants I started from stem cuttings, roots appeared a week or two after soaking in a glass of water, After pots appear I planted up in soil, some edible, some decorative:
Thai basil, sprigs from restaurant
Mint lemon balm
Green basil
Green onions
Romaine and endive lettuces
Rose, one time cut flower started sprouting new leaves and stems
Natal palm, super pretty trailing plant (discarded clippings from husband's bonsai)
Purple wandering jew (found on sidewalk next to street planter), pictured below
Purple heart, pictured below

Plants started from leaves or stems, rooted directly in soil:
African violet
Willow branches, from dumpster dived weding arrangement, became trees over 6 feet tall
Sections of corn plant (tropical plant), pictured below

Image result for corn plant

Plants started by pushing fresh seed in a pot with soil:
Avocado, didn't bother with the suspended on toothpicks method
Orange and lemon pips (once gave a miniature citrus orchard to a coworker)

Plants that have mini me's:
Mother in law tongue/ snake plant

Plants with runners:
Lily of the valley
Wild ginger (pictured below)

Plants started by pushing parts under soil:
Sprouted garlic cloves in the fall
Sprouted onion bulbs
Turmeric rhizomes
Ginger rhizomes

Today was warm outside, so I potted up some of the above. With a little luck, we'll see some sprouts that will add beauty and life to our shady, concrete "patio." 

My back up plan includes ordering caladium corms

to plant from the aptly named Happiness Farm in Florida. They always spring up in festive explosions of color.  I order the combination of the large leaved varieties.  My only regret is that I have not been able to overwinter them.  Even our furnace closet doesn't keep the corms from perishing.  Frugal and chilly, that's our winter. So I reorder and look forward to the beautiful burst of color over our long summer.

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