Propagation is one of those things that seem like magic to those outside of the gardening realm. The idea that you can take part of a plant and turn it into more plants seems like some sort of science fiction trope, rather than a horticultural reality. At the very least, it reminds one of that scene in Fantasia, where the sorcerer’s apprentice (Mickey Mouse) tries to chop up the unyielding, bucket-carrying mop with an ax and only ends up with more mops to deal with. Well, your garden isn’t going to cause you any trouble like that if you get into propagation. In fact, you’re only going to have a greener, more beautiful backyard once you master the concept.
We’re not going to teach you everything there is to know about propagating, but we’d like to share with you one simple trick to help you get started. It might seem a little odd, maybe even a little crazy, but it totally works!
Roses are a great plant to work with when it comes to propagation. You can grow roots from just about anywhere, meaning it’s pretty straightforward to get yourself several new rose bushes from whatever you already have growing.
To start, dig yourself a small trench and line the bed with a little sand.
Next, collect yourself some rose cuttings.
This next step is super-important. You’re going to want to trim the cuttings and remove all the leaves.
While leaves photosynthesize to give a plant energy, they also draw a lot of moisture and nutrients from the roots, which aren’t there yet!
Now, here’s the crazy part: drill a hole in some potatoes. Yes, potatoes. Then, jam the stems inside.
The holes should be as tight as possible to help keep moisture in. You can use a nail or a drill bit to gouge the right hole for your stems. Mind the thorns!
Set each potato-rose into the trench, a few inches apart, and begin covering with dirt.
About half of each stem should be sticking out when you’re done.
Be sure to water this bed as soon as you’ve planted, and regularly thereafter. Within a few weeks, you should know if your efforts have paid off …
When the payoff comes, it will be worth all the (minimal) effort!
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