Root Your Own Plants for Patio Containers

UPDATE:  July 11, I used the fuchsia this year in planters with orange and burgundy plants

UPDATE: July 11, I used the fuchsia this year in planters with orange and burgundy plants

Here’s the thrifty Yankee again, but when faced with paying $$$ for each little pot of one of my favorite container plants, I took matters into my own hands.  The fuchsia, Gartenmeister Bonstedt makes a nice backbone for your patio planters.  It has an upright habit, deep coral colored tubular flowers visited by hummingbirds and deep green foliage with burgundy ribs and veins.  It pairs nicely with purple coleus and many other plants that are readily available at reasonable prices.  Two years ago I decided to try to winter one of the fuchsias over in the house and root seedlings in the spring.  It was a wildly successful experiment and I ended up foisting them off on friends.  It’s so easy.

Select a slightly woody growing tip, snip it off and remove a few leaves at the bottom

Select a slightly woody growing tip, snip it off and remove a few leaves at the bottom

First you have to remember to bring in the plant in the fall and trim it back so it gets bushy, developing the growing tips that are perfect for rooting.  About 8 weeks before you plan to fill the planters, snip off these tips, remove a few bottom leaves and put them into potting medium.  To ensure good root formation, a rooting powder can be used.  This is available in garden centers and seems to last forever.  A small jar I bought 20 years ago is still going strong.   Put them under lights or on an east windowsill until there are signs of new growth.  Keep the soil moist.  After new growth begins they can be moved into full sun.  Rooting works for many plants, impatiens, coleus, vinca vine and many bedding type begonias can be rooted in a glass of water.

These tubular flowers are a favorite of Hummingbirds

These tubular flowers are a favorite of Hummingbirds

I have dipped the ends in rooting powder and planted them.  They'll root in a couple of weeks

I have dipped the ends in rooting powder and planted them. They’ll root in a couple of weeks

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