What herbs are you propagating now?

jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)June 7, 2013

Copied from the herbalism forum, where some dummy posted it by mistake:

I love this time of year. The majority of the planting out is done, the veggies are in full swing, and there's not much to do in the garden, except to propagate.And that I'm doing like crazy. More plants to share! Yayee.

My oregano, chives and lemon thyme were finally big enough to divide. And after months of babying, I finally have some seed-raised orange thyme at the two leaf stage, and Horizon Herbs Mayan mint at the half-inch stage. It's not quite as slow growing as the thyme, but it's close. (I would be happy to break down and buy bigger plants as I finally did with the orange thyme, but I never see it for sale.)

I've dropped some ornamental (ground cover) thyme seeds in various pots and beds at different times, and now have healthy patches of it cropping up everywhere. It will either become a living mulch, or be transplanted to a neglected part of the yard as ground cover, or remain as the sole surviving container plant, once the annuals bite the dust. There comes a time here when it's just too hot to think about replanting anything.

My 18 month old Xhosa plant is a beautiful green mound about 2 feet in diameter and covered with white flowers. It is an African dream herb grown from Horizon herbs seed that is supposed to reseed easily. I hope it takes over its bed completely.

I love Lemon Verbena. It smells so great in a potpourri with orange mint and rose geranium, but my shrub from last year appears not to have made it through the winter, so I have bought two new plants to replace it, and have already started rooting some growing tips. I will never be without this plant again....nor of the orange mint and rose geranium! They are the easiest of all plants to grow from cuttings. Other mints (lemon, pear,oregano-thyme, chocolate, apple, spearmint and lemon balm) are propagating in cutting trays.

It appears that Papalo also loves this climate. When I think a plant may be difficult to grow from seed, i stick a seed or two in random pots where there are plants I will be watering any way. I always forget what i've planteduntil I see it growing later. This is the second year that I've had a papalo plant come up from seed, and the first that, having forgotten planting it, I didn't pull it, thinking it was a weed (which it is, actually).

And let's not forget the giant alliums i have in several places, I can't stand the bare look of a freshly planted bed or container, so I often stick in some left over green onion bulbs, for quick green. Did you know that if you ignore them, they grow to be quite huge plants?

i have a bunch duking it out with parsley now, which was another experimental seeding. The alliums have shared the pot with rock rose (portulaca) for several years. but when the portulaca dies back in the winter it leaves a bare spot in the planter. I thought parsley would be a good winter crop there, but birds.squirrels, and insects ate all the seeds except those that fell among the allium roots. The two sets of plants are literally growing on top of one another, but this promises to be a good insectiary planting, since the parsley is coming into bloom as the alliums are fading. After that, the portulaca will be kick in and be covered with honey bees.

My baby valerian start has taken off quite well and I hope to be able to grow it easily here. I also have two pots of gotu kola growing inside that I'm trying to force to become potbound so that i can divide it this fall.

Next on my to-be-started list are catnip, catmint, and sage. And I'm going out to buy hairpins, to pin down runners of anything i see, like tarragon, and yerba buena that look like they might root with some help.

To paraphrase an old high school cheer: Two, four, six, eight! I know how to propagate!

What babies are y'all making?

Evening Update:

Though I haven't sewn them yet, the dill and basil seeds I ordered on ebay from a Russian Vendor by the name of Nikitovka arrived today.

Green Basil Yunga,or Sailor basil looks like a lovely full plant that is said to max out at about 10-12"tall. Pehaps it is the same variety known here in the states as "compact basil," but I won't know until I have grown both of them.

Lesnogorodsky Dill is something I ordered because it is also reported to be a compact plant. One of the gardening challenges I have not yet mastered is successful pocket pot plantings.

I know it can be done, and as soon as I've got it down to a repeatable science, I'm selling off a fully planted strawberry pot collection with a forever guarantee: If a plant dies, I will replace it for free.

I'm slowly defining what kind of backyard nursery I want to operate, if and when I should ever take the plunge, As I work my way towards an autumn plant sale/toe in the water test, I'd love to hear about anyone's propagation experiences. Once you learned that you could, what did you do with your powers?
And all the plants you produced?


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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

You are busy Jan!

I'm too busy slaughtering the herb starts I purchased to really propagate anything much...

Well - I have 6 french thmes just putting on their first leaves, mine died over the strange winter we had.....glad the old seeds came through.

really need to seed up some basils and I've bought some greek oregano seeds too, but time gets away from me.

I really want to be able to root up clipping from the plants that won't survive zone 5/6 winters, so i can plant them out in the garden and have them be productive over the summer, and take a bit to root for starts over winter....so far, I'm just a serial killer here.... >:^(

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:46AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)


IIRC, you and I crossed paths on the 4 seasons gardening forum last year, talking about growing tomatoes and other veggies indoors. How did those turn out for you?

Sorry to hear about your thyme...it may come back. Mine froze last winter and was looking dead at the start of the season, but it it is all thriving now.

I was once a serial killer, too and over the years I've garnered lots of relics to mark my failures. There's the aforementioned strawberry pot collection, and the half dozen WM 'window box' shaped planters...long and 6 inches deep, which were intended to be for cut and come again greens. These have now been repurposed as plant starter boxes, as they are just deep enough for 3" cuttings to take root and survive until i get around to transplanting them. I just have to keep reminding myself starting plants is the easy part and that every start is going to need up potting once or twice more later this summer.

Also, your question about soil for your herbs. I think the main thing to worry about is whether of not they have good drainage. If they do, I'd go ahead and plant them and not fertilize them any more. If they don't, mix in lots of bark, which will also help steal nitrogen from the soil for the rest of this year.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:00PM
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