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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Propagating Wildflowers…

62 degrees outside - 1:13 pm - the clouds are finally parting to allow some blue sky to show..

Even though it is technically summer…it just doesn’t feel like.  Where is the hot weather?  Why are we still getting all this rain?  Why is it still getting into the 40s at night?  Since the thunderstorm late Sunday night to early Monday morning, the weather the past two days has been fairly dry. 

Yesterday we took advantage of the dry weather and went out for walk.  The kids were little troopers walking all the way up to the top of the mountain (well almost to the top) where they took off with Tony to drive back down and I took off with our neighbor Pam to finish the loop.  On our way back down, we started talking about some of the wildflowers we were passing.  A couple of things you have to know about Pam – she is the nicest person you will ever meet; she is a true flower lover; and her yard is full of colorful native wildflowers that she has been propagating and transplanting from the surrounding area for years. 

Just in case you don’t know what propagation means – it is to create a new plant from a plant already existing.  You can do this from either collecting seeds or taking cuttings (I usually prefer cuttings, although with some plants, seeds do work better).  Most gardeners would prefer to buy their new plants at the garden center, but in some cases, they might want to consider reproducing a few plants they particularly like.  In our case, to buy native wildflowers, it can get pretty expensive and in some cases hard to find.

I have been propagating houseplants for years (they are super easy), but have never tried wildflowers before (they are a bit more finicky).  It might take me a couple of tries to figure out which way is best but I am bound and determined to be like Pam and propagate as many of the native wildflowers as I can.

My first attempt at propagating a native wildflower will be with Lupine.  Lupine is a member of the pea family, and is a wonderful old-fashioned flower.  Cuttings or division can propagate perennial Lupines. 

Lupine

I am going to go super simple on this just to see how it goes.  All I am doing is slicing the steam diagonally and putting it into water (this has always worked with my houseplants).  If this doesn’t work, my next attempt will be with some root hormone, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that this first attempt works.  I will let you know how it goes…

my first attempt at propagating Lupine

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