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Recycling the plants themselves

Posted by cohouser CO 5-6 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 14, 09 at 0:51

I swore to myself that this year I would be more restrained with my plant purchases, but I still spent way too much on annuals. I have a large front porch and a small back yard that nevertheless does have room for hanging baskets and a large planter, so I'm vulnerable to temptation.

I had one blindingly obvious brainstorm for plant recycling last fall, when I noticed the big sweet potatoes that had developed during the summer underneath the picturesque chartreuse leaves that form such nice colorful trailing vines. I kept the potatoes and re-rooted them, and this summer I've had nice colorful trailing chartreuse vines for free.

So now I'm wondering if you frugal gardeners out there have suggestions for similar re-use of other annuals. I don't have a whole lot of sunny room indoors at my place, so I can't bring all the plants in and baby them through the winter. I've seen descriptions of keeping geraniums over the winter by hanging them upside down in a cool place (I think), but have never tried it, and that's the kind of idea I'm looking for. Has anyone successfully done such a thing with geraniums, and do you have suggestions for what to do with other plants? I'm thinking my canna lilies, small begonias, creeping charlie, vinca, and dusty miller might be candidates -- maybe even the pansies in my fence planters?. I could make some room for pots in my one sunny place, but they'd have to have good potential for surviving indoors until the warm weather comes around again.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Recycling the plants themselves

You can always take cuttings from mints & coleus;
many plants will do well if you keep them in sunny windows through the winter.

Best luck, & have fun!

RE: Recycling the plants themselves

I overwintered a fibrous begonia as a houseplant. It wasn't very pretty due to lack of proper light, but once the nice weather was here and I put it outside, it really got lush, and I took cuttings from it for different areas. I'll be doing it again this winter.
I've read about the geraniums too, and this year I will be trying to keep one or two that a friend is going to give me. I told her it killed me to see her buy them and toss them at the end of the season. I got my begonia from her last fall.
Don't forget to save seed from some of your flowers. I don't know if your petunias would come true, but you might like what you get.

RE: Recycling the plants themselves

Hi, last year I was given the most beautiful and healthy geranium and couldn't bare letting it die. I took several cuttings and rooted them in water, planted in small pots when the roots were grown out. This year I have several plants from this one and they did great. I usually root coleus as well. Didn't buy any of either this year. And sometimes at Christmas I have red geraniums in bloom in my southeastern bay window. This year I am taking in my Mandevilla to winter over. I tend to stay with reds and whites so that they go with the winter decor.

RE: Recycling the plants themselves

Check out the wintersowing forum! I did almost EVERYTHING from seed this year, and plan on saving as much seed from those plants as possible to grow for next year. I'm hoping eventually I won't need to buy plants, especially with the seed trading forum here. It's been a lost of fun!


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