Saturday, April 21, 2012


Titania shared recently some of her succulents down under. One cactus, propagated from seeds is 30 years old, looking marvelous.  I never thought of it.  When considering that I propagate almost everything I have planted in my life, it would have never cross my mind any creature like that would reach such seniority. Most of the time, one would expect it to be a tree or a bush.  I share the satisfaction any gardener feels when whatever planted survives for such long time.

Here is the second part of God knows how many  will follow.

The Romans  

The innovative Romans used natural mineral to progress the sowing of seeds.  they used mica (transparent crystals from granite) as we use glass today,  to retain  within a small area  the warmth from  the elements whilst still allowing them to take advantage of full daylight.

Gradually we were able to associate the cultivation of plants with the medium  in which they were  so struggling for survival. Hormone rooting powders, of course, were not available in these ancient times, so we improvised.  Again, it is a Roman gardener who is credited for realizing first that if we dipped the bases of cuttings into ox manure
it was possible to encourage rooting and the development of a good rooting system.  It is believed , too, that his contemporaries were the first to grow cuttings from pieces of plant root (believed to be from a thistle), although sound documentation on the subject, pre-dating the 17th century, is hard to find. 

Plant Propagation 
Graham Clarke
page 7

Who is the Roman mentioned above?  I do not know, and do not care. What is relevant, is the propagation issue. It is always fascinating reading about edible gardens.

It is a seasonal fad, coming and going, but they never mention the propagation of plants as if they will raise out of the blue, without any problems and difficulties.

The other strange related subject are those people claiming to have a grey thumb. I wonder how many times they tried, probably incorrect plants for their context, with excess irrigation.  It seems that people kill their plants indoors more often for this reason than the contrary.

that is that.


1 comment:

  1. Good sharing. I am reminded to propagate some of my plants. Thanks!

    Btw, I saw those young Ficus elastic plants in one of the pics you have uploaded at the left column now. They look really good planted in a group like that. But if conditions allows, they are potential giants. They can become a big huge trees ;-)

    Happy gardening and have a great Sunday!


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