Cutting and Divisions in Propagating Japanese Gardens
Cuttings are the easiest and most popular way to propagate plants for your garden. To do this a new shoot will be cut from the parent plant. You will want to cut the new shoot at the “heel”, the place where the shoot meets the stem. To prepare your cutting for composting make sure you nip off the little buds and side shoots as well.
Poplars and Willow cuttings need to be transplanted in the spring, while cuttings from roses and conifers should be transplanted in late summer. Plant rock plants, alpines, and any flowering shrubs in the early autumn or late summer. Succulents can be transplanted into your Japanese garden any time.
Layering is another form of cutting which involves the parent plant performing the “nursing”. This involves, during spring, bending the new shoot towards the ground, and without separating, takes the tip of the shoot upwards creating a “U” shape. Dig a small hole in the soil, and place the bottom of the “U” in it, tie it down, and cover with soil. The tip of the shoot will emerge from the soil. Keep the surrounding soil moist. By autumn the shoot will be cut away from the parent, and will be ready for transplant.
Divisions-This is a variation from cutting. This involves taking roots from the part of the plant being separated from the parent plant. This type of cutting requires no extra care, and can be transplanted immediately. Remove the piece carefully, being sure not to damage the roots, shake the soil off, and using a small fork, gently separate the new growth from the parent. Remember to place the older plant back into the soil.
Caring for your Japanese Garden Plants:
Seeding Trays and composting: Trays and compost is needed for any seeds or rootless cuttings. Use porous earthenware trays that have drainage holes in the bottoms, as these work best. Make sure to saturate your seeding compost before beginning. Allow it to drain, but make sure to keep it moist as the seed or cuttings are placed inside.
Potting: Once the plants have grown roots, they are ready to transplant. You will want to fill your pot with prepared potting soil and compost. Be very careful when taking the seedlings out and transplanting them, avoid damaging the delicate roots. It is best to lace the pots in semi-darkness for a day or two, and transition them to the lights very gradually.