Thursday, December 18, 2008


So! I confess that I contemplated theft today! It's probably a good thing that I'm so forgetful, because I forgot to carry out said theft...

Quite often, at my paying job, people receive gifts of lovely arrangements of house plants. Many of these house plants are incredibly easy to propagate through simple cuttings. Usually, I ask the recipient or their family if it's okay if I take a wee snip of a plant I covet and -- usually -- permission is granted. Other times, we (ie, the staff) receive an arrangement ourselves, and then (I admit it -- so arrest me!), I've been known to take a cutting to grow on at home.

Above, a Martha Washington geranium cutting, which if I remember correctly, came from a plant with blossoms that looked like this. Yikes, all my poor plants are looking a little dry, aren't they??

Now, I don't encourage thievin', but as an incredibly easy and inexpensive source of plants, propagating plants from cuttings is the way to go.

Unknown ivy doesn't mind that I neglect it terribly!

This plant's colour has faded in the north facing window. The colour was a more intense brown-red before. Not sure how much light it tolerates, as I'm not even sure what it is. Anyone?

I've tried all sorts of cuttings, but as regular readers know, I don't do so well with plants in the house or greenhouse, where they have to rely on me remembering to care for them. Plants generally do much better for me outdoors in the garden where Mother Nature cares for them better than I do! There, I just wander outdoors now and then, enjoy the show and get sucked into dead-heading and weeding and watering and mulching because...I don't even know why, actually!!

Still, I see a plant and I can't help wanting it, poor thing!! Daughter wonders why ever I would be trying to grow trees and shrubs, such as the yew cuttings below, on my apartment window sill, right now. Because I think/hope I can?

As a sort-of unrelated aside, among the dumbest things I have read and remembered lately: a well-known Canadian cannabis activist was apparently charged by the U.S. DEA with "conspiracy to produce marijuana, conspiracy to traffic marijuana, and conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime", and they are seeking his extradition to the U.S. However, he apparently sold marijuana seeds for over ten years in a store in downtown Vancouver BC and through the mail, using the proceeds to wage his own war against the war on drugs. Following me so far?

Here's what I find amusing. If I remember my plant biology correctly, one is more likely to get exactly what you expect (ie, high quality pot if you are a grower) from cuttings than you are from seed. I have no idea what methods grow-ops use, but if you are a gardener that has ever tried growing things from seed, you know that unpredictable things seem to happen more often with plants propagated from seed vs vegetatively or from cuttings (eg. most gardeners probably know you don't want to plant hot peppers close to sweet peppers if you really, really want to be sure you don't get ...whatever you don't want ...mild peppers that are hot, or hot peppers that are mild...) I don't know, but if I wanted to guarantee the quality and salability of my product, I think I'd opt for cuttings vs seeds, even if the prior might be more expensive initially to obtain...

Sorry. Some things just strike me as dumb, but I'll admit, maybe they aren't so dumb. What do I know? I can laugh, can't I? See, I'm imagining some eager pot-head taking all this trouble to grow pot from seed and raising a crop of dud plants, good only for making things like rope or paper! tee hee hee! omg, the more I think about it, the more giggly it is making me!

(It must be all those Christmas chocolates I consumed at work today!)

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Blogger Kati said...

Doesn't anybody else find this funny? days later...I still love the image of the pot-head with his crop of hemp-rope and paper!!

4:12 a.m.  
Blogger Wayne Stratz said...

This dilemma of stealing cuttings seems to be common. I often get tempted while walking around my neighborhood.

so far I have resisted.

10:14 p.m.  
Blogger Kati said...

Gardeners are about the most generous bunch of people I know. If you met the gardener, they'd probably be offering you cuttings and divisions before you even asked! Beware however, of receiving "real easy" plants to grow: they may be real thugs and tyrants in the garden!

2:38 a.m.  
Blogger Wayne Stratz said...

that is so true, both about gardeners and easy plants

2:26 p.m.  

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