Northern Exposure

Triumphs and failures on a window ledge.

Ivy Ivy Ivy – reprise January 29, 2009

Filed under: Cuttings,Indoor,Watering — northernwindowgardener @ 1:00 pm
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Variegated IvyBack in November I posted about trying to propogate some Ivy. It’s fair to say that this turned out to be an epic failure. In hindsight I was a bit ambitious with the way I did it. The internodal cutting technique on the RHS website doesn’t look too difficult but even then I think I managed to screw it up.

I wonder if the soil I used, which is an organic type and looks quite bitty (this is the best way I can find to descibe it), didn’t create a very good growing environment for the cuttings. Other factors might have been my sketchy watering regime – probably not a good thing for fragile cuttings – and that I placed them in a sunny but slightly chilly position.

I guess that a combination of some or all of these factors meant that they were doomed to crinkle up and die rather than take root and flourish. Whatever it was there’s clearly some further education required but it was worth the try and some lessons have been learned.

Never one to admit defeat I’ve taken a few cuttings of an indoor Polka-Dot plant (Hypoestes) which I had let get a bit leggy and out of control. The advice is that these will root easily in water or moist potting mix.

The three cuttings have been living in a water dish for a couple of weeks now and I can happily say that they’re still alive and look to be producing roots. When I get some time in the next fornight I’ll pot them up and see if they continue to thrive. Here’s hoping!

 

Ivy Ivy Ivy November 24, 2008

Filed under: Autumn,Cuttings — northernwindowgardener @ 12:58 pm
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Ivy Vines

Ivy Vines

The Lobelia were supposed to neatly trail and spread over the edge to provide colour and help mask the harsh look of the plastic terracotta windox boxes. Alas only one plant really took (late November and still going strong!) and they never quite lived up to expectations.

As a late season alternative Ivy seemed to be worth a try. The same ability to spread and trail albeit without the attractive flowers of the Lobelia. Rather than go crazy and plant them everywhere I decided on getting one good quality specimen from the garden centre and seeing how it worked out.

Well the answer is that it took hold immediately and is clearly forgiving of my ham fisted attempts to get the watering levels right. Even with the wind blowing it around on occasion it has held firm and provides exactly the type of shape and cover that it was intended to. And the variegated leaves gives the Ivy a more interesting look.

I was aware that Ivy was supposedly simple to take cuttings from, so, never one to miss out on an opportunity to try something new, I duly searched the net for a good guide (link to RHS page at the bottom) and armed with the trusty secateurs trimmed off a couple of vines.

Following the guide I made a whole bunch of internodal cuttings and planted them into compost contained in some peat pots I had to hand. Hopefully in a few days or weeks they’ll have rooted and be strong enough to consider planting out – although I wonder if the weather will be just too cold for them to be planted. Of course it might not work at all and I’ll be back to buying them but there’s nothing lost in having a bit of a try.

Royal Horticultural Society page on propogating Ivy from cuttings.