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Simple tips to start your collection

Take some leaf cuttings from streptocarpus. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Take some leaf cuttings from streptocarpus. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Although almost any type of plant material can be rooted in the large propagating box, I do prefer using a tray with coarse sand for indoor pot plant regeneration.

Leaf cuttings of streptocarpus, begonia rex and saintpaulia will root in the moist environment maintained when the dome’s in place and daylight is accessible.

Propagate new plants in preparation for possible winter losses.

Our collection of 10 varieties of streptocarpus exists in 20 2-litre pots, but the plants are not frost-hardy and there is limited storage space in the moderately heated conservatory. The long leaves are cut into small sections and planted close together in the compact case that demands little space.

Recently, additions to a scented geranium (pelargonium) collection were ordered from Allwoods (plants@allwoods.net). Hemley, Robin and Crispum Variegatum arrived as medium plug plants ready for first pots and are developing nicely.

A further three varieties were bought from Beth Chatto’s Gardens, Colchester, during a recent visit. They were more advanced in two-litre pots, and after spending a week in the car boot, emerged unscathed. Stem cuttings taken a fortnight ago have already rooted.

This is how easy it is the get a scented pelargonium collection going, but you need to know that these stem cuttings do not need a closed environment.

Simply fill a small pot with moist, gritty rooting medium and insert the cuttings around the inside edge. Firm the compost and water only once, then stand the pot on a window in the light or on a greenhouse bench.

Opportunities for propagation will arise throughout summer as young side shoots continue to appear.

It’s not just about saving money by growing your own, there’s the feeling of achievement when the stem you pushed into compost begins to grow.