Exploring the world of Fuchsias

I tend to read a lot of gardening books during the (North American) Winter because my library has a good selection checked in :) Does anyone else do this? Right now I am fascinated with Fuchsias and found a really straight forward book written for a beginner to the topic.

 

 

Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2000

Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc. Copyright 2000


I have acquired a few of these plants with a long flowering period and have been focusing on those hardy in my zone 8 garden.
Fuchsia flower types

Fuchsia flower types


According to this book they are easy to propagate so that may be one of my winter greenhouse activities.
Plant propagation.

Plant propagation.

Roses, roots and rootstock

Roots supply nutrients to rose canes and leaves and allow photosynthesis to happen so flowers will grow. It’s all about the flowers we love so much. Some roses tend to root and grow well on their native roots, but there are others that will not grow vigorously and produce great blooms on their own roots. Budded or grafted roses have the benefit of having more feeder roots than own root roses. Your minimum winter temperature is an important factor in your consideration of rootstock. There are lots of pros and cons for the choice of a rootstock of roses and winter hardiness. That is not an issue in my new garden, but I do appreciate the larger root mass of budded or grafted roses.

I spent all morning potting up my recent order of maiden rose plants from my old Midwestern friend, Steve Singer of Wisconsin Roses.
Steve gave a hands on rose budding class several years ago at an ARS district convention. I tried it. I think budding roses takes a lot of fine motor skill that I do not have!

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This is rosa multiflora rootstock, budded with desirable rose varieties.

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I put them in 1 gallon pots and let the plants develop before cutting the top off.

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This enlarged photo clearly shows the bud on the shaft that was inserted and will soon begin to grow.

Mums from the beginning

I really enjoyed my mums last fall and I was told to take cuttings this month to have more of the same mums next fall. Apparently the plants from last fall will not produce very well unless cuttings are rooted and new plants started.
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There are several ways to get the cuttings to root. I chose Hormex rooting hormone and perilite.

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After 3-4 weeks the rooted cuttings go into 4 inch pots with potting mix. The after 4 more weeks I will look for roots coming out of the bottom so I know it is time to go to a larger pot. This potting up continues until July 4th when they should be in a final pot for growing and flowering.

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Click on the mums or Chrysanthemums in my word cloud to the right to see the mums blooming last fall.

Mums -But I thought I was a rose person?

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Did you know there is a chrysanthemum club that also has a national and international association? I was totally surprised by this. In Minnesota, we hoped to find the hardy bush mums hybridized by the University of Minnesota to plant and then *hoped* the would survive for a second season. I was not successful for many winters. That is all I knew about mums. But to my surprise, about half of the Rose Society people also gather for the mum club. I’m not totally abandoning roses, never get that idea, but as a club project everyone is growing ‘Luxor’ (the tall skinny one in the photo.) They gave me three and I am hoping that one looks good next fall! The three cuttings in the purple pots are other mums that they taught me how to start. Apparently the club members let a plant bloom once then take the babies from the bottom and start new plants the following spring. I hope you will follow the progress of the “mum adventure”.