Sharing Plants with Family


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One way to expand your plant collection is to be sharing plants with family and friends. This is a great method to save money, while obtaining the look that you want.



I have been quite happy with how my seed plantings have been coming along, but I realized a new look in my garden by moving plants to new spaces. This was further enhanced by finding new plants in the gardens of my brother and parents. I have always participated in plant sharing. I have been happy to give seeds away too. I never thought about this habit much, until this week. I went out of town to see my parents when I saw their agave. I find these to be structurally fascinating plants, but I have not placed them in my garden, because they can be quite expensive, so I asked my parents if I could have a plant. It turns out that they had been wanting to get rid of some plants, because they had too many. I ended up with four nice agaves, for which I created a new garden bed.

    Coming back to Houston, I began moving various plants to new beds. I had some coleus that would look better in another spot. I was reworking vegetable and herb beds, so a few of those plants were moved. I noticed that I had an area which needed a plant with  yellow or white leaves to bring in more visual interest. I remembered that my brother had promised me variegated ginger, which would be perfect. My mother informed me that she was coming to town, and I told her about that agave. She asked for some spinach plants in return. I gave my brother a ginger plant from my garden. He also asked for the spinach. My mother then also wanted a ginger plant for her own garden. We all ended up dividing and exchanging plants. We focused on plants to be used in cooking, but I walked away with more decorative specimens.

    The wonderful aspect of sharing plants is that you do feel like you have a new garden. Just moving plants around the yard produces the same effect. However, I was happiest to reduce my gardening expenses. Saving money by sharing feels good. Sitting in my garden, my mother encouraged me to take cuttings from my coleus for new plants. My daughters love to pluck off a branch for decoration, and my mother did not want to see them go to waste. Sticking coleus into water, or wet soil, can encourage roots to form. I am currently doing this with a few ground covers. I will probably being sharing these as well. Propagating plants is a great way to continue to have them year after year. Coleus can die off during a frost, but a cutting can replace the plant next year. I do this with tomato, pepper, and a few other vegetable plants too. A few will root with water, but with most vegetables I use a rooting hormone. You can find it in most garden centers. I cut my plants with an angled cut like I would for flowers in a vase. I wet the cutting, and then dip it in the root hormone powder. Plant these in potting soil. I have seen people place these in the closed containers designed for cuttings, but I leave my plants in a shady spot, where I check to see that there soil remains moist.
    If I take care of my new shared transplants, I will have a nice fall garden. If I take care of my cuttings, I will have a nice garden for next year. I find that having the plants is more important to me, but reducing my gardening bills is a good feeling too.

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Greetings

This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank

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