Paul Nickerson

Posts Tagged ‘Propagation’

Cultivating Ginger: Zingiber officinale

In Gardening, Potting, Propagation on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Plant Credit to Kristen Listor

There are a few of us out there who seem to believe that if it can grow, it should grow. I was walking through the grocery store with a friend of mine when we started talking about cultivation of ginger. She remembered a talk she once heard about how simple it is to propagate ginger from its root. Needless to say, we bought some.

As we were not sure exactly how to go about propagating the root, we figured we would try a couple different methods. The best method was also the easiest. We buried the root just a couple inches deep in pots filled with moist potting mix. The pots were placed in warm locations, and kept lightly moist. After a couple of weeks, we started to see shoots arising from the rhizomes.

ImageHarvesting the ginger is easy. As needed, simply brush back the soil from the rhizome and cut a piece away. The plant will continue to grow healthily.

Desert Rose: Prune and Propagation

In Potting, Propagation on January 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I recently did some drastic pruning on my Desert Rose (A. Obesum). I bought the plant a while back as a rescue from a local nursery and have let it grow with little training until now. The plant developed a very prominent, Y, “slingshot” formation. The goal if this hard prune was to develop a better shape of the overall plants, while using the cuttings as propagation stock.

Being advised by a number of bonsai fanatics, I lopped off one of the branches, and truncated the other. I am hoping to use a Dremel to soften the hard edges that resulted from the prune.

The lengths of stock were cut into three-inch sections, each containing a couple nodes. They were potted in a well draining soil and are kept moist. A. Obesum is a relatively easy plant to root from cuttings.

Just for the sake of it, I tried a method typically used with ficus to develop a more developed caudex. Some of the segments I cut length-wise twice, creating a cross that could be opened up when potted. This should create a more flanged caudex. We’ll see how it goes!

Bird of Paradise

In Propagation on October 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

Bird of Paradise are one of my favorite flowering plants. I have wanted one for a number of years now, and was excited to come across 6 seeds in a swap. Germinating these seeds can be difficult as they are contain very hard seed coats.

After removing the small, orange hairs from the seeds, the seed coats will need to be weakened. This can be done either physically, or chemically. Physical abrasion involves scoring the seed coat with a sand-paper, a file, or a knife. Chemical ‘abrasion’ can be done by soaking the seeds in an acidic solution that will break down the seed coat.

When propagating prickly pears, we used hydrochloric acid. Since most people do not have this readily available, citric acid can be used. Simple soak the seeds for a couple hours in lemon juice. After that time, rinse the seeds with water.

After the seed coats have been treated, soak the seeds for 24 hours in warm water. This will induce germination. Stratify the seeds in a perlite/vermiculite mix. Place the container in an area of high sunlight. Germination may take anywhere from weeks-to months, so be patient! It will be worth it.

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