During some weekend pottering, I was staring at the emerging shoots of lobelia tupa and wondered if basal cuttings would be a suitable method of propagation for this architectural plant. This is what the RHS has to say on the topic:
“Basal cuttings may be possible, but few are produced”
One way to find out, give it a go!
There aren’t many stems, but I think I can spare a couple. I cleared away the soil from around two stems then dived in with my penknife, cutting away the stem, trying to remove a piece of rhizome with it.
I gave the two stems a bit of a clean up, then trimmed off some of the excess material that might rot during the wait for rooting.
I am hoping that roots will emerge from the base. As this is the part of the plant that normally produces roots, it should be pre-disposed.
I decided that I would put one in the hydropod and one in good old fashioned gritty cuttings compost. I’m using a 7cm pot and have popped it into a sealed Ziploc bag to keep it nice and humid. The bag is now in the heated bench.
I’ll be back in a while with an update on rooting.
Update 16th March. Both these cuttings rotted off within a few weeks. Too humid maybe?
I dug into my lobelia tupa by accident in early march? I planted a small piece (no roots, 1 1/2 “) of the rhizome in ordinary potting soil at surface level. There was a bit of last years stalk attached so I knew what side was up. Planted in Mid March…tiny leaves have emerged in late May. Its been outside in a sunny spot in Seattle.
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Oh good, glad it has worked for you.
I noticed emerging shootlets on my L. tupa when I cleared around it. Think I’ll have to try this. Thanks for info
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No idea if it will work, we shall see!
What else is in your hydro pod at this time of year?
Bunch of (late) penstemon and gaura cuttings, plus some hardwood cuttings of rose and cornus.
I really do not remember how we propagated our lobelia (that resembled the cardinal flower), but I think that we brought them in as rooted cuttings, rather than propagate them ourselves. That was a long time ago. I think that cardinal flower is commonly grown from seed.