With the temperature moving into cooler fall weather, there are lots of questions about what to do in the garden this time of year. Gardening Guru Ciscoe Morris visits New Day to discuss how you can stock up on free plants.
Ciscoe's easy way to get free plants:
One of the best, and most fool proof ways to make new plants is to use a method called layering. It works on most woody plants as long as there's a low growing branch that you can bend down to the ground without breaking it off the mother plant. It's best done about this time of year. Here's how you do it.
Find a low growing branch coming off the plant you want to reproduce.
Bend the branch down to the ground. You're going to bury the middle part of the branch underground while leaving it attached to the mother plant, and also making sure the far end (away from the mother plant) will remain out of the ground.
Remove all leaves from the part of the branch that will be buried under ground.
Cut a small slice into the branch at a node somewhere on the spot that will be buried.
The branch you are rooting should be buried about 2 or 3 inches deep.
Make sure at least 6 inches of the end of the branch is sticking out of the soil.
Put a rock over the buried part of the branch so the wind can't blow it out of the ground.
Leave the branch buried for about a year. The following year, tug the end of the branch. You're trying to feel if the part under ground rooted. If you feel a fair amount of resistance, cut the branch off the mother plant and carefully dig it out, making sure to protect the new roots.
Plant the newly rooted branch at the same depth as you dug it out of the ground, keep it well watered, and congratulations! You've got a new plant that is exactly the same as the mother plant it came from.
Many plants such as Hydrangeas, twig dogwoods, forsythia and others often root if you simply cut off about a 2 foot tall branch, pull off the bottom leaves and stick it about 6 inches deep straight in the ground. Do it this time of year. By next fall, give it a gentle tug to see if it's rooted. If it is, it's ready for transplant. It doesn't always work, but it doesn't cost anything and it's worth a try.
Good luck getting some great new plants for free!