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


Plant Parenting: Cloning Succulents

July 29, 2019

Succulents are so fun to clone (propagate) because you can create a new plant simply by rooting a single leaf.

They are an easy way to start on the journey of making more plants because relatively simple to root (just don't overwater), and have the cutest babies!

An adventitious bud/shoot has developed at the base of this echeveria after it was placed in a container with potting mix.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

This echeveria dropped a leaf. So I after letting it set out to dry and callus, I set it in some potting soil, where it developed new roots and a new bud shoot.

Learn more in my plant propagation book PLANT PARENTING.


Plant Parenting: Some Plants are Female or Male

July 28, 2019

When it comes to pollination, you need to get to know how your plant flowers and pollinates. Some plants have flowers with all the parts needed for successful pollination. Other plants have separate female or male flowers on the same plant. Other plants have female or male flowers only on separate plants.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

For example, holly plants have separate female or male plants. Only female plants of holly plants produce berries, once their female flowers are pollinated by pollen from a nearby male plant. For plants with separate sex flowers, you'll need a specimen of both for successful pollination.

Learn more in my plant propagation book PLANT PARENTING


Plant Parenting: Make Plant Clones From a Mother Plant

July 27, 2019

Many plants can generate new root tissue (adventitious roots) and new shoot tissue (adventitious shoots) from other parts of the plant such as a stem or leaf. Once the new roots and shoots form from the existing plant tissue, a new identical plant clone develops. The resulting new plant will identical to the mother plant from which you took the cutting.

I accidentally broke this piece of African violet crown away from the rest of the plant. I supported it in water and rerooted the crown, making a new clone of the mother plant.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Mother plants are so named simply because it provides the material to grow the new baby plants.

Learn more in my book PLANT PARENTING


Plant Parenting: Some Plant Cuttings Need a Callus

July 27, 2019

A callus often develops at the base of a cutting at the site of a wound, when conditions are good for rooting. A callus will look like a knot or knuckle growing at the base of a cut stem or leaf.

This pepper cutting has developed a knuckle-like callus at the base of the cut stem; crown roots will soon develop.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Some plants will develop a callus and adventitious roots simultaneously, while other plants must first develop a callus first, before new roots can grow.

Learn more in my plant propagation book PLANT PARENTING


Plant Parenting: Nigella Seed Pods

July 26, 2019

Nigella seed pods are quite beautiful and easy to collect; and the bounty of dark black seeds spread easily around the garden without your help. Ok, so they can spread all over the place in sunny locations! But they are beautiful and are one of my favorite wildflower seeds to collect.

PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Nigella is a example of a perfect flower - one that has both male & female parts, thus able to self-pollinate. Allow these fanciful seed pods to dry completely on the plant for seeds to be mature. Seed pods will turn completely tan or brown when ready.

Fun Fact: Nigella seeds are edible! Many people use them as a seasoning.


Plant Parenting: Make New Succulents from Leaf Cuttings

July 4, 2019

Many succulents can generate new root and bud tissue from the base of a fallen leaf. The leaf will typically form a callus, and then new adventitious roots will form, followed by an adventitious bud and new shoot.

Different stages of succulent plant development.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Above, a fallen echeveria leaf develops new adventitious roots at its base, followed by an adventitious bud and shoot, which then develop into a clone of the original mother plant. Cool!

If you want to learn more about plant propagation, and all the different types of cuttings you can take to make more plants, check out my book PLANT PARENTING


Plant Parenting: Grow Peperomia From Leaf Cutting

July 3, 2019

Certain plants, such as the popular houseplants peperomia and begonia, can develop new roots and buds on the leaf petiole and even from the veins along the leaf itself. These types of plants are masters of multiplication and can be propagated in a number of different ways.

New adventitious roots and a bud and shoot have developed at the base of this peperomia leaf petiole.​
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

If you look closely at the photo, you'll see a new adventitious roots and a new tiny bud shoot developing. This will turn into a new baby clone plant! However, don’t expect your tomatoes or citrus plants to sprout new roots from just a leaf; the cells in their leaf and petiole tissue can’t grow new root or shoot tissue.You'l need to get to know how your chose plant can, and can't, make new roots and shoots from cuttings.

Learn more about how to take these plant cuttings in my book PLANT PARENTING


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