Friday, 23 March 2007


Plants have a remarkable ability to survive. Novice gardeners manage to grow healthy plants and vegetables as long as the plants are not pushed in the ground upside down with the roots sticking in the air. Bulbs put upside down in the ground will right themselves so the tips grow up and the roots go down. We can see bulbs appearing at this time of the year. I spotted my first snowdrop in Drung last week. Plants also have the knack of surviving even if they have been totally buried for a while. This can be used to our advantage when it comes to the time we would like to increase or improve the look of our stock. When some bushy plants get leggy they can be either dug up and replanted in a deeper hole or if this isn’t convenient, earth can be pushed around the bare stems of the plant leaving the fresh new growth above ground

Good specimens to try this out are heathers, azaleas, berberis, box and Gaultheria. This is a very effective way to propagate new plants as well. Burying a stem blanches it and these shoots root much easier. Many plants have embryonic roots in their bark. Burying stimulates their growth, which produces off shoots. These can be cut off when the roots have developed. It doesn’t have to be woody plants either. Try burying your bedding plants when you buy them. Leave the tips of the plant above ground and in the space of a few weeks you will have loads of little bedding baby plant babies.


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