Saturday, May 7, 2011

Free plants for your garden!

Yuccas are all the rage in landscaping at the moment. They're hardy, grow in all sorts of climates and are a very striking looking plant in your garden. Of course, an increase in popularity has also led to an increase in cost at my local plant nursery. A baby plant, approximately 7 inches high is currently retailing for about $15.00!
(note Bridget trying to help... actually she's digging up the toys she likes to bury in the mulch!)

If you have one or two of these growing in your yard, you've struck gold! Propagating them is super easy, here's a little step by step.
Can you see the new plants sprouting of the main one? The leaves aren't as spikey as they look - get in as close to the trunk as you can and cut them off. The stems are quite fleshy, so you could use gardening snips or even a small saw.

Collect up all your offcuts, and remove the bottom few leaves so that you have an obvious stem. this will be helpful when you plant the offcut and will stop the bottom leaves from rotting in the ground.

Leave the offcuts in a cool dry place for about 2 - 4 weeks (climate dependend) to allow the ends to dry out. You'll know they're ready to be planted when the cut end has become very dry and turned a light brown colour. The stem may also start to shrivel slightly. This is the time to get planting.

A freshly cut stem

A dried stem, ready for planting
Stick those babies straight into some good compost and leave to root for a month.  They may need a little assistance in staying upright, so a few appropriately placed twigs should be sufficient.

Then in no time, you'll have a new plant to pop into your garden. It's best to leave them for about 4 weeks to develop a root system before you replant them elsewhere. You could even pot them and give them as a unique growing gift!

Don't have any Yuccas in your yard? Keep a look out in your local area - If you have neighbours or friends who have these growing already, why not ask for a few offcuts!

happy gardening!

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  1. Wow, those are some big Yuccas! Do you live in a warmer climate? I have an Adams Needle (I believe) yucca and it only gets a stem about as big around as your babies. I'll have to look closer to see if I have babies on my cultivar or not. Maybe it's a completely different type of yucca.

  2. Hi Tru - I do live in a warmer climate, however the type of Yucca I have growing is called the Elephantipes Yucca - hence the size difference between yours! The Adams Needle variety can be propagated in exactly the same way - just take a look at the base and you should see the newer growth which you can cut off. Good luck! Amy

  3. Great post! I love cuttings and dividing plants for FREE. My parents have some yuccas at their lake cabin and we could probably do this there to spread some plants around! I did not know you could propagate yuccas. If giving as gifts, I would be sure to tell the recipient that wherever they are planted, they will STAY. You can't move yuccas once they're established!! :)

  4. Thanks Jennifer and thanks for the tip - I didn't realise you can't move them once they are established!