Saving plants from the cold - part 2

The other day I spent some time moving various non-hardy potted plants into the garage before the temperature got down to 25ºF in order to save them. The second part of that plant-saving effort was to dig up some in-ground plants and take some cuttings.

I definitely wanted to save this small Colocasia 'Black Magic'. I'm not sure that it's had a chance to form a "bulb" yet, but with the hard freeze approaching I didn't have time to think about it.


So I dug it up and put it in a pot the next day. Similarly the "black stemmed taro" plant that I put in the ground late this summer had produced a few "pups" and I wanted to save those too.

You can see that there are several different sizes of offspring, including this tiny guy:

Although they all have pretty small root systems, I expect that they will all survive, and I'll grow them inside under lights all winter. I'm not sure what I'll do with the 'Black Magic' yet though. I'll probably try dividing some of the "pups" off and growing them inside too.

The final part of my plant-saving strategy is to take cuttings.

The tradescantia zebrina is about the easiest plant to propagate from cuttings, as it roots very easily in water or damp potting mix. It also is tough -- it has the great ability to last for days or weeks with no roots or water. This cutting was sitting on my bench for five days, and it looks as good as the cutting that was kept in water:

The Plectranthus 'Cerveza 'n Lime' also roots quite easily, although I just broke this root off when taking the cutting out of the water for the photo:

I'm not worried since I know it will root again. Even if it doesn't I have one plant outside that was somehow not killed by the cold, and I can take more cuttings.

I took a couple of Mexican petunia cuttings too:

I don't know how easily they root, but from examining the "root bumps" on their stems, it seemed like success was likely.

It appears that I was right, as this one cutting is producing some roots after 5 days. I may take a couple of more cuttings from this plant too since I haven't grown it before, and I'll see if the rootball will survive being kept in the garage all winter.

I still need to take a couple of snail vine cuttings, but if I don't get around to it I won't be too disappointed. I've seen some varieties of snail vine that are quite fragrant and mine wasn't -- I'd really prefer the fragrant type, so buying a new one in the spring seems like the way I'll have to go.

I still like to save and overwinter as many plants as possible each year. That leaves more money in the budget for buying plants that I've never tried before, and shopping for new plants in the spring is one of my favorite parts of gardening!

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