Cuttings take root

A few weeks ago I took some cuttings of tender plants that wouldn't survive our early hard freeze, then put them into water to root. Two of the three plants I was certain would root, but the third I wasn't sure about.

I'm glad to say that all of them are now well-rooted, so let's take a look.


The two that I knew would root are Plectranthus 'Cerveza 'n Lime' -- the green-leaved plant -- and Tradescantia zebrina or "Wandering Jew" -- the purple one:

I've overwintered cuttings from both of these before, and knew there would be no problems because they root so easily in a glass of water or damp potting mix.

I've left these in water a little too long:

When the roots start turning brown, they're getting old. I should get them into soil soon. Again, with these plants I'm not worried about waiting too long, because they're tough. The Tradescantia is especially tough.

Take a look at this photo:

Can you tell me which of these plants is the one that's been in a glass of water for three weeks or more, and which one has been sitting on a table with no water and barely any light? They look pretty much the same to me. (The one on the right is in water.)

Amazingly, this cutting is feeling just a little bit floppy, but otherwise it's as if I cut it yesterday. I'm going to stick it in the water now and see how long it takes to root. I'm guessing just a couple of days.

What's even more amazing is that I was lazy this summer (that's not the amazing part) and left my original cutting of this plant from last year growing inside under lights. I took cuttings from it all winter long, but then when it warmed up outside I just abandoned it. Almost forgotten and totally neglected -- I may have watered it once or twice since May.

It's looking a little strange -- the leaves are thin, curly, and more shiny than they should be -- but somehow it is still alive and growing.

I think the plant may sacrifice the oldest leaves, using the moisture from them to grow fresh new leaves. I'm not certain about that, but that's what it seems like it's doing. This is one tough plant!

Now we'll look at the third plant, the one that I was concerned about:

This is the Mexican petunia, and since this was the first year I've grown it, I didn't know how easily it would root. Obviously, quite easily.

These two cuttings are even starting to produce flower buds:

Normally I would remove these, as I want the plant to put its energies into producing roots, stems, and leaves instead of blooms, but right now I don't really mind.

Roots are not the problem here. The problem is that the plant gets pretty big, and I only want to keep it alive over the winter -- I don't want it to reach its full size. So I'll let it produce some flower buds and see how things go.

I've just remembered that I haven't taken my purple fountain grass divisions yet for overwintering. That's going to be fun tomorrow in the rain. Sometimes procrastination in the garden doesn't pay.

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