Plant Parenting: Grow Lamps for Plant Cuttings

September 9, 2019

Grow Lamps for Plant Cuttings

You don't need a lot of light for cuttings

Understanding artificial lighting needs for all your different indoor plant projects can be a little confusing when you're just starting out. There are many different small lighting kits out on the market, but which one's really work for your needs? If you're doing vegetative propagation - that means taking cuttings from your plants - then you're in luck. Vegetative cuttings need relatively low light levels until they've produced a new root system.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Typically, you can place your unrooted cuttings near a low-light windowsill until they root. Or, you can place them away from a natural light source and instead use a grow lamp. Complete kits that come with one small fluorescent or LED lamp as the main or only source of light are perfect for rooting vegetative cuttings. You can leave the grow lamp on 24 hours a day until the cuttings root out.

Once your cuttings have rooted, and the main roots start producing side branching roots, you can then pot your cuttings up and they'll need to go into a higher light situation (depending on the species).

However, if you’re growing seedlings without much additional natural light, a single grow lamp such as the one in this kit won’t provide enough light as seeds germinate. Kits with at least two grow lamps are better for seed starting, but I usually use fixtures with 4 grow lamps for seedlings.

To learn all the fundamentals of how to light your cuttings and seedlings, pick up my new book Plant Parenting. To take a deeper dive into light science and how to grow all sorts of plants indoors year-round, pick up my book Gardening Under Lights.

National Indoor Plant Week Giveaway - Unboxing!

September 9, 2019

Plant Parents: Celebrate National Indoor Plant Week

Enter to win my signed books and free plants!

Are you ready for #NationalIndoorPlantWeek next week?! I AM! to celebrate, I'll be doing FIVE giveaways next week, one each day, Mon-Fri (starting 9/16/19) on my Instagram channel @lesliehalleck

I'll be giving away signed copies of both my books Plant Parenting & Gardening Under Lights AND an amazing plant from Steve's Leaves, Inc. for each winner!! Be sure to follow both me and Steve's Leaves on Instagram before Monday so you can play along and enter.

Steve's Leaves sent a special box of surprise plants for us to preview, so check out this unboxing video to see the beautiful lush plants they sent me!

Plant Parenting: Air Laying Propagation on Houseplants

September 7, 2019

What is Air Layering?

Root cuttings right on your plants!

Looking for a way to rehab your large leggy houseplants, and take new cuttings at the same time? You can try air layering. Air layering, or air propagation, is similar to rooting with ground layering or a stem-tip cutting, except you don’t bury the stem in soil or remove a cutting from the mother plant; you root it right on the plant while it’s growing!

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Air layering involves creating a wound on the stem where you'll take a cutting, tricking your plant into growing new roots right on the stem...before you take the cutting.

My fiddle leaf fig has gotten a bit lanky. So, I’ve air layered it on a side branch. Once roots develop to the edges of the air-layering ball, I’ll cut off the entire section and pot it up as a new plant. Take off the cutting will then encourage the mother plant to grow new side shoots and fill out.

If you want to learn all the fundamentals of plant propagation, such as air layering, be sure to pick up my new book Plant Parenting.

Plant Parenting: Spider Plant Babies!

September 4, 2019

How to Propagate Spider Plant Babies

Offsets are easy to grow!

Looking for easy ways to make more plant babies? Certain plants make it super easy for you. Some species of plants develop offsets (also called pups or plantlets) on flowering stems that are super easy to propagate. The airplane plant (also called spider plant) is a great example of just such a plant.

Airplane plants are easy to propagate from the offsets they produce at the ends of flowers stems.
PC: Botanopia

Offsets usually already have root initials that just need to come into contact with water or moist soil to begin growing an entirely new plant that is a clone of the mother plant. These offsets can be snipped right off the stem and planted - or water rooted. Once the new roots have begun to produce side branches, you can pot your plant baby up into it's own pot.

If you want to learn all the fundamentals of plant propagation, pick up my new book Plant Parenting today!

Plant Parents: Houseplant Unboxing from Little Prince

August 27, 2019

Unboxing houseplants from Little Prince of Oregon

Amazing plants from an amazing grower!

Looking for a new online source for cool plants? I received a surprise box of plants from a fabulous grower, Little Prince of Oregon Nursery. The quality of the plants was superb and the packing was top-notch. The plants arrived healthy and beautiful, even in 100+ degree weather.

You can watch my unboxing video to see all the plants they sent me and learn some tid bits about each one:

1. Striped Bamboo Fern - Coniogramme emeiensis 'Golden Zebra'

2. Antenna Fern - Doryopteris cordata

3. Polypodium areaum 'Blue Star' (fern)

4. Kalanchoe katapifa 'Tarantula'

5. Saliganiella kraussiana 'Brownii' (spikemoss)

6. Punica granatum (dwarf pomegranate)

7. Sinningia 'Invasion Force' (hardy pink gloxinia)

8. Kalanchoe marmorata

9. Lobelia laxiflora (cardinal flower)

10. Sempervivum 'Gold Nugget' (hens & chicks)

11. Begonia rex 'Ideal Blue Silver'

12. Crassula 'Pagoda'

13. Crassula perforata

14.Crassula ovata 'Tricolor Hobbit'

15. Haworthia 'Super Big Band'

16. Echeveria affinis

Plant Parenting: Pruning & Training a Hoya

August 2, 2019

My groovy bush hoya (Hoya cumingiana) has gotten a tad leggy, so off with its head! This species isn't terribly common in the trade, but I love it's tough tiny leaves. Plants produce yellow/green flowers.

I decided to cut back all the main stems to relieve apical dominance and encourage more lateral branching. Translated, that means I'm going to make my bush Hoya more bushy! When you cut off the tip of a stem or branch, plant hormones send signals that spur new bud shoot growth at the nodes below.

The tip cuttings are now water rooting and I also decided to train up the stems on a vertical support to better control this little beastie. 🌱 Plus, it looks cool!

If you love looking at plant photos you can find me on Instagram.

And definitely check out my plant propagation book PLANT PARENTING

Plant Parenting: New Roots at Plant Wound

July 31, 2019

Plants such as citrus and peppers can generate new adventitious roots, or crown roots, from the base of where the stem has been cut or wounded. These types of roots develop only after a wound or cut is made, such as when you take a cutting from a plant stem.

These crown roots (wound adventitious roots) developed on a citrus cutting after the stem was cut and then held in an aeroponic propagator for several weeks.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

These crown roots (wound adventitious roots) developed on a citrus cutting after the stem was cut and then held in an aeroponic propagator for several weeks.

Learn more about plant propagation techniques in my book PLANT PARENTING

Plant Parenting: Tiny Seeds can be Hard to Collect & Germinate

July 30, 2019

Seed from some types of plants can be difficult to collect or germinate. Certain succulents, for example, produce seed so tiny it can be challenging to save and germinate the seeds, regardless of whether you’re new to plant propagation or an experienced grower.

Tiny Mammillaria cactus and living stone (lithops) seedlings several weeks after germination.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

For plants with tiny seeds, you’ll need to use care and patience to germinate them successfully and grow them into mature plants. Follow the germination directions provided carefully!

Learn more about successful seed germination and collection in my book PLANT PARENTING

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