Do plants follow me or do i follow plants? I really don’t know.. but where ever i go, i seem to find something that i absolutely must carry back in the form of seeds or cuttings else it haunts me in my dreams till i am able to lay my hands/eyes on it again.. Reality strikes when you realize it might actually be a big deal to carry plant cuttings back to your garden without ruining them!
Take for example this tulsi(holy basil) and portulaca.. Now they may not be very special or rare but when i don’t happen to have a tulsi plant in my garden(i did.. it went dormant in winters and my very intelligent mali plucked it out) this broad leaved super-scented variety at my sil’s home looked too good to resist; and so did this double colored portulaca from my aunt’s home that i have been eyeing since forever..
Now coming to the main point..
how do i successfully carry plant cuttings over to my garden without killing them over a wait of 2-3 days??
Here’s what i did:
a) keep in a shaded cool place in the car for a journey of 3 hours
b) arrive mid-destination and plant the tulsi in a pot(there were many saplings)
c) plunge the portulaca cuttings in water(in a yellow smiley cup-optional)
d) on the day of further journey, pick two tulsi saplings(leave the rest for mom) and wrap in a wet tissue drenched in water.
e) take some portulaca and wrap the roots in a plastic bag
f) keep both in a larger plastic bag and keep in hand luggage
g) MOST IMPORTANT: arrive at destination and immediately unwrap both. Place in containers of water. The tulsi must have wilted but don’t panic. Leave them like that for more than a day.
h) Notice the tulsi all perked up and ready for new growth. Plant and water.
i) Squeal in delight over portulaca growing roots in water. Wait impatiently for a few more days and plant when the roots look good enough.
j) pat myself on the back for a job well done!
I have noticed that sometimes planting portulaca without rooting in a sunny spot kills it easily. So this method of rooting in water definitely works for me specially when i can’t risk losing the cutting. Also, sadly, wilted cuttings seldom survive.
So this method works really well with cuttings and as for larger plants in packets, i usually stand them all in a tub and fill a few inches of water. The roots soak up water and stay good until i plant ,specially since top watering isn’t much helpful for plants in nursery bags.
At the time of writing this post, the tulsi has been happily planted and doing well; portulaca is still indoor and sprouting roots, i think i will take it out this weekend..
If you found this interesting, then read more about successfully rooting coleus or geranium cuttings in water.
Till then Happy Gardening and Cya 🙂
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