These are the continuing voyages of the starship ceanothus.  I am trying manfully to propagate this shrub. Previous attempts have failed. In this latest attempt in September, I set up three batches of  cuttings. 

  • Heated bench, in Ziploc bags
  • Unheated bench, in Ziploc bags
  • Cold frame, no pampering

In the last update, I admitted defeat on the heated bench batch, they went to the great propagator in the sky. The unheated bench batch, though, are still with us, but barely. 

There are two pots in the batch, one in a gritty mix one in a compost based mix. As in the heated bench batch, the compost based pot is dying off faster than the the gritty pot, but both are dying off.

Ceanothus cuttings

Propagating ceanothus

Ceanothus cuttings

The compost pot, on the right, is beyond salvation so I’ve binned that. The gritty pot still has some greenery so I have removed the mouldy and rotting stems and some leaves that were looking iffy. I’ve also discarded the bags that the pots were in, I don’t think the ceanothus appreciate being enclosed. I do not hold out much hope for this batch, we’ll see.

Ceanothus cuttings

Much more positively, the cold-frame batch still look extremely perky. I’ve not done a thing to them other than poke them in the gritty compost mix and leave them to it. 

Propagating ceanothus

They’re in a terracotta pot and have been somewhat sheltered, out of the wind, but otherwise exposed to outside conditions in the cold frame. I don’t yet see any signs of rooting, but bearing in mind previous failures well before that stage, I remain optimistic for this batch.

Taking cuttings from ceanothus

So, a game of two halves. I’ll be back with another update in the New Year.

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