The Ultimate Guide to Regrowing and Propagating
Gardening bloomed during the pandemic and it looks like it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Many seed merchants are reporting that they’ve sold more seeds in 2021 than ever before. Gardens Illustrated revealed that a recent study shows people in the British Isles planted a staggering 322 million more plants in 2020 than in 2019. It’s good news for biodiversity – and as being outside and gardening are linked to so many health and wellbeing benefits, we wanted to share with you a round-up of ways to start growing and propagating your own plants.
Grow from Scraps: Leeks, Celery and Spring Onions
Did you know that leeks, celery and spring onions can all be easily re-sprouted and grown again? All you need to do is keep the base of the stalk – around 3-5cm for leeks and celery and the bottom 3cm of spring onions. Put the stalk, base down, in water but keep the top out of the water. Place on a sunny window sill, changing the water every couple of days. You should see growth after the first week but wait for around two weeks for the roots to develop. Then simply transfer your new plant to a small pot of soil, keeping it watered and in a sunny spot until it’s ready to harvest.
Grow from Cuttings: Bay, Mint, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon & Thyme
Many plants can be grown from cuttings – and herbs are a great place to start. Herb specialist Jekka shares her tips here (link to https://vimeo.com/347011000). Use sharp scissors to take a cutting 5–10cm in length from a healthy shoot then plant it in a pot filled with good-quality compost. Jekka likens the compost to the engine for growing and recommends a mix of one-third compost, one-third propagating bark and one-third Perlite. Why not give it a try? Roses, lavender, hydrangea and geraniums are all easy to propagate from cuttings using the same technique.
Grow from Shoots: Garlic
Garlic shoots make a delicious alternative to spring onions and are easy to grow. One method involves planting a garlic clove in a small pot of compost with its root facing down. Place your pot in a sunny spot and keep it watered and you’ll see a new shoot in a few days. Or if you have a garlic clove that’s already sprouted you can place it into a shot glass of water, where the top will continue to grow and can be eaten like a spring onion.
Grow from Babies: Pilea Peperomioides
As known as the Chinese Money Plant or Friendship Plant, Pilea Peperomioides is a popular house plant that’s easy to care for. Healthy, mature specimens create baby plants, sometimes known as pups, at their base. Once the baby plant is about 3-4cm in size you can gently remove it from the mother plant by cutting it off with a sharp knife so it keeps its root. If it already has strong healthy-looking roots you can plant it straight into compost, or if in doubt, place it in water in a tall glass jar (old herb jars work perfectly) to encourage further root growth before potting on.
Grow from Division: Sedum, Hosta, Primroses & Hardy Geraniums
Perennial is the term for a plant that lives for more than two years – and over time, most perennials spread. It can feel daunting to dig up an established plant and even more daunting to take a spade to split it, but most perennials benefit from being divided every three to four years – this helps the plants to stay healthy and vigorous and to produce plenty of flowers. It’s also a no-cost way to create more plants. Spring and autumn are the best times to divide perennials. To divide a plant you first dig it up (which can be tough with an established plant) then sharply dig down with your spade to split it.
Grow from Seeds: Flowers and vegetables
May is the perfect time to sow seeds. Cosmos, Zinnias and Sunflowers are all easy to grow and will be a great way to bring colour to your garden this summer. May is also the perfect time to sow beetroot, sweetcorn and carrot seeds. Most seeds just need sunlight, warmth and good-quality moist compost to germinate. Nearly all seed packets come with instructions and there are lots of great how-to videos online to make it easy to get started.