September 06, 2012

How to Cram the most Plants in the Smallest Space

Time to think of cuttings and plants for the winter garden, inside. I took 36 Pentas cuttings this morning, placing each in a container of warm water and being sure that each stem had a node that would be covered with soil.

Some of Pentas cuttings at bottom.

On the list yet to cut and stick are Persian Shield, White Shrimp Plant, Porterweed and maybe some Purple Heart. Setcreasea looks good in containers with Persian Shield in the winter.

I've been looking at Steve Asbell's Rainforest Drops which are smallish grapevine balls with Rhipsalis cuttings and other plant delights which can hang. I couldn't decide on a good place for hanging balls, but decided to experiment with a larger grapevine structure that could sit on a pot.

My obsession with not wasting plants and my tendency to propagate more left me with an abundance of suitable plants: New bromeliads -- when I potted the 2 pups that my old bromeliad had, the mother plant promptly produced 4 more. An abundance of graptopetalum resulted from saving every little leave that broke off. Bits of resurrection fern from a pecan limb that broke, collected in an old dinner plate grew into a solid mass of fern bits, bright green after rain.

A half dozen little pieces of Christmas cactus rooted. I have 5 new good-sized Schlumbergera cuttings in assorted colors and an Easter Cactus in addition  to my original Christmas cactus, all rooted and growing.

I managed to fashion some circles of grapevine I'd dried into an 8" ball shape and stuffed it with sphagnum moss, tucking in the 6 little Christmas cactus cuttings from my original plants, a couple of graptopetalum, 4 good pieces of fern and a bromeliad to crown the top.

The grapevine ball sits atop a mossy pot.
The finished vine ball with epiphytes.
One pot will hold the equivalent of a dozen
single containers.

There are still five Bromeliads to find spaces for, a flat of graptophylum, the new Christmas Cacti that may not even bloom this season, and a large number of cuttings and plants that are a must to get potted up before frost.
Red and White Begonias, 2011.
Begonia cuttings did so well last year. A single pot of red looks so festive near Christmas and I loved the whites last year.
Last spring I made a list of hits and misses from the previous season in the greenhouse.
Later I'll list them on the Seedscatterer blog while I decide what comes in this winter.


Plant Stands said...

I'm just guessing, but I'll bet your friends love your propagation compulsion!Especially if they end up with some of the gorgeous Persian Shield.

Karen said...

What a treasure trove of plants you have saved through cuttings! I would love to do this too, but have such limited space to overwinter all the plants. We live in a tiny house with not enough light...but I am so inspired by this post that I may set up shelving and some grow lights. Begonias from cuttings? Wow, that's so cool!

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