Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making More Thyme

See how I did that? Time...Thyme?
Yeah, I can't actually make more time. That might be nice, but as it stands I'm working with what I've got. I bought a little lemon thyme for my garden the and I've been enjoying tossing it with some carrots, a whole clove or two of garlic and some olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting it up. It makes a tasty side dish. The other day I cut a sprig too many and rather than waste it I plopped in a tiny little jar that used to hold lip balm (and may have held fancy mustard before that) and gave it a drink. Since then, it's started stretching a little looking for more light and I think I can see a little nub of a root poking out near the end of the stem. 

I love rooting things from cuttings. It never stops being magical, how you can start with little stem and stick it in some water and after a little while it becomes a new plant. I usually do this with sweet basil so I can have a little pesto garden, but I've never had success in the long run. The last time I had space to do that, we moved cross country and my basil didn't make it. This year and started a bunch of basil from seed and I think I've got more than enough for pesto, but I need to thin it out and I'm planning on rooting some of those just in case.

If you have never tried rooting cuttings before, DO IT! It really is the most exciting thing. Lots of things will root in just plain water. I have had phenomenal success rooting basil, of various kinds. My brother once gave me a cutting of greek columnar basil, and it came with me on an airplane to my new home on the other side of the country (survived x-rays and all) and rooted in a cup on my windowsill. My then toddler went ahead and knocked it over and by the time I found it the fresh root was withered, as was half the stem. I cut of the obviously lost part, put the wilty remains in new water, and hoped for the best. They were pretty tiny, and I didn't have high hopes, but they managed to put a root out there anyway. 

To root a cutting successfully, use a healthy parent plant. Use clean, sharp scissors, or a knife to cut the growing ends off a plant. Put them in water in a clean container. You don't need to change the water unless it starts getting funky. If it's still nice and clear then leaving it means that you aren't dumping out any rooting hormones the plant has produced on it's own. You can also use commercially available rooting hormone if you want. I've used it, but honestly, I feel much better about letting the plants do their thing on their own. If you use it you would simply pour a little into a clean container, dip your cutting in it before putting it in potting mix, perlite, or just water.

Have you rooted cuttings? Do you propagate plants another way? More importantly, do you love it?!

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