September in the Greenhouse

The greenhouse, which had been emptied of all its plants when they eventually made it out into the garden, is now beginning to fill up again. The Foxglove, ( Digitalis sp ), seedlings have been potted on and are busy growing ready to be planted out in the autumn. I am busy taking cuttings.

September is a good month to take cuttings of tender perennials such as Salvias and Penstemons. They are still growing strongly and should root quickly. Use healthy looking non-flowering side shoots between 5cm-10cm long. Cut just below a leaf node and then remove most of the lower leaves – this helps to prevent moisture loss. Insert the cuttings around the edge of a pot filled with 50:50 compost and grit, water and then cover with a plastic bag. Pelargoniums should not be covered with a plastic bag. Place out of direct sunlight or if you have one in a propagator – this will provide basal heat and speed up the rooting process.

Leave your cuttings alone for 2-3 weeks. It is hard to resist tugging on your cuttings just to see if they have rooted, but they will root a lot quicker if they are left alone. It is a good sign that they have rooted when you can see top growth and an even surer sign when you can see roots protruding from the bottom of the pot. Now you can transplant into individual pots.