Lee Valley & Veritas

Gardening Newsletter
  Volume 9, Issue 1 - January 2014  
 
Interesting Read
Excerpt from Gardening for Pleasure, Algrove Publishing, 2000. (First published in 1883.)

The "Mud" or "Saucer System" of Propagating

Take any common saucer or plate, into which put sand to the depth of an inch or so, then prepare the cuttings in the usual manner, and insert them in the sand close enough to touch each other as in fig. 14. The sand is then to be watered to bring it to the condition of mud. The saucer with the cuttings is then placed on the shelf of the greenhouse, in the hot-bed, or in a sunny window of any room in the dwelling house; in each case fully exposed to the sun and never shaded.

Saucer propagation

But one condition is essential to success— until the cuttings become rooted, the sand must be kept continually saturated with water and always in the condition of mud. To do this the saucers must be watered at least once a day with a very fine rose watering pot, and the watering must be done very gently, else the cuttings may be washed out. There is every probability that ninety percent of all cuttings put in will take root, provided they were in the proper condition, and the temperature has not been lower than 65 degrees nor above 100 degrees.

By the saucer system a higher temperature may be maintained without injury, as the cuttings are in reality placed in water, and will not wilt provided the water is not allowed to dry up. Still the detached slip, until rooted, will not endure a long continuation of 100 degrees, and we advise that propagation be done at such seasons that the cuttings, wherever they may be, will have as near as possible an average temperature of 75° or 80° in the sunlight.

The cuttings will root (according to kinds and the temperature), in from six to twenty days. Verbenas, Heliotropes, Fuchsias, etc., take root in a week, while Roses, Carnations, or Azaleas, take two, three, or four weeks. When rooted they should be potted in light soil, (such as recommended in the article "Propagating of Plants by Seeds,") in pots from two to three inches in diameter, and treated carefully by shading and watering for two or three days.
 
 
 
 
     
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