Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All Grown Up

Last fall I started some cuttings.  I had not done that for years for various reasons and so had forgotten how rewarding it is.  I don't remember ever keeping a coleus over the winter before this without getting fed up and throwing the sickly-looking thing away by January.  Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I hadn't started cuttings  in a while because it wasn't all that rewarding in the past!

This time I was probably more consistent with watering, and I have a better window for growing plants in the winter.  Even so, the porterweed and the pink-leaved coleus rotted right away, which was kind of discouraging.  But then the  rest did fine!  I would even go as far as to say they did well.

Here is how the happy survivors look now!

I'm hopeful that the pot will fill out more over the summer, but I just couldn't wait to show it to you!  The round leaves of nasturtium make for a cheery mix with the coleus and althernanthera, don't you think?  I started those as seeds for another class I took.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but though I adore plants and have studied them for a long time, my gardening knowledge is, let's just say, spotty.  With a lot of help from books, other gardeners in Charlotte and the online garden blogging community, I am beginning to fill in some gaps.

Here are a couple of take them or throw them back recommendations:

Clay pots are porous which allows the plant's roots to get some air.  Also, they look natural, especially once they start to patina with moss and algae.  They are heavy which can be a drawback, and they can crack if they freeze and thaw too much outside over the winter.  But they are relatively inexpensive as well as nice looking.  They are my favorites for the patio.  Old Time Pottery in Matthews has the least expensive ones I know about.  Look carefully for cracks before you buy them, though.

Although I won't mention any brands, there are some Terrible (capital T) potting soils out there!  Since I found out about Faford Potting Mix, it's all I use.  It holds water well but still drains fast.  It has a slightly damp and spongy texture.  Perfect!  You can get the kind with slow-release fertilizer which helps if you tend to be forgetful like me.

Ninety-five degrees in Charlotte today with no promise of rain in the forecast...having to water those containers at least once a day!  School's out (finally!) on Friday.  I might have to recruit a certain 13 year old to help out with that.

Happy Gardening!



  1. We all get by with a little help from our friends don't we? My knowledge has grown so much from reading so many blogs. We have a lot of smart people out there in the blogosphere.
    Congrats on your new rootings. I have some coleus getting ready to be potted---making more with what you've got!
    Stay cool!

  2. Beautiful. Congratulations.