Now is the time to propagate perennials

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Right now is a good time to propagate some of your perennials so you&8217;ll have more for next year.

I have eleven different varieties of butterfly bushes (Buddleia sp.) Each year about this time, I will take cuttings to share with friends and neighbors who admire the ones I have in my garden. Of course the species I have are not patented; therefore I will not be breaking any on the laws.

I also use this opportunity to cut back some of the overgrown plants. They will still have an opportunity to recover and bloom before frost and they will be attracting butterflies and hummingbirds again before you know it. Just try to leave some blooms for the creatures to enjoy right now.

After cutting back your butterfly bushes, place the cuttings in a tub of water to keep them well hydrated while you work.

Have your potting medium in pots and ready for the task at hand. Make sure the potting medium is pre-wet. Also have ready; your rooting hormone and pruning shears.

Try to take only semi-hardwood cuttings of your butterfly bushes as these root best.

Cut a two to four inch cutting, remove at least two leaves from the basal (bottom) end and dip it into your rooting hormone. (Rootone(r) or RackMax(r)) Place the cutting into your potting medium and keep watered.

Be sure to remove any blooms from your cuttings so the plant can focus its energy on growing roots instead of making flowers.

Keep your cuttings in partial sun and in about six weeks, you&8217;ll have some new babies to share.

Drop me an email, if you want to share your rooting experiences.

For more on these and other gardening tips listen to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday morning from 6 till 8 on 101.1 FM, The Source and log on to We&8217;re now live on the Internet every Saturday morning.