Thursday, 7 January 2010

Pruning and Propagation

Let's be honest: growing vegetables in pots, from seed, on a balcony, in January, is a task as impossible as resurrecting Tiger Woods' career. In spite of this however, the London Vegetable Garden balcony need not be a barren space that occasionally houses a full clothes horse!

In addition to planting a few daffodil bulbs, as documented in my previous post, I have also turned my gardening attentions indoors, as I attempt the rather unpredictable practice of water propagation.

Many of us are still feeling the economic pinch, and several London garden shops continue to charge a pretty penny for certain plants. Taking cuttings from hedgerows and gardens can be an extremely productive way to add to your garden, balcony or windowsill, and is also cost-effective if successful.

This weekend, I took a couple of 'cuttings' from a nearby hedgerow (hopefully the neighbours weren't looking!) for my very own London Vegetable Garden water propagation experiment!

How to: Water Propagation the London Vegetable Garden Way!

Cut the stem below a leaf or bud, as shown:

After this, take your cutting and strip the base of leaves, in order to give the roots more of an opportunity to grow:

Finally, you can dip these in rooting hormone and plant in a pot, or alternatively, stand in water, which is what I have chosen to do. After a few weeks, new roots should start to develop, meaning planting on is likely to be more successful.

I've had mixed success with water propagation in the past, with my spider plant experiments achieving a big tick in the 'win' column. The jury's out on these twigs however – we'll have to wait and see what progress is made over the next few weeks!

Have you had success with water propagation? Why not leave a comment below, or share your tips with London's new urban gardening community, the London Gardeners' Network.


  1. I've had similar results to you - spider plants worked well. Not tried anything else much yet though! Good luck and nice to see some more LVG blogs back in my RSS reader!

  2. Yep I also get mixed results with water propagation.

  3. I find a bigger percentage of cuttings take using the compost method rather than water. I suppose it really depends on the type of plant you are taking cuttings from though. Good luck.

  4. Seems like a lot of us are having a go at propagation! I'll post a picture of the spider plant I propagated in water - it's still thriving!

    Has anyone else had good results? Any tips?

  5. Dude that looks awesome - I'm definitely gonna have a go at that - by the way your bookshelf looks mighty!

  6. Yeah, it looks really good.
    I am going to have to give this a go when I get home!
    Thanks for sharing

    Aanee xxx
    Flowers Dublin



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