Do plants follow me or do i follow plants? I really don’t know.. but where ever i go, i seem to find something that i absolutely must carry back in the form of seeds or cuttings else it haunts me in my dreams till i am able to lay my hands/eyes on it again.. Take for example this tulsi(holy basil) and portulaca.. Now they may not be very special or rare but when i don’t happen to have a tulsi plant in my garden(i did.. it went dormant in winters and my very intelligent mali plucked it out) this broad leaved super-scented variety at my sil’s home looked too good to resist; and so did this double colored portulaca from my aunt’s home that i have been eyeing since forever..
Now coming to the main point.. how do i successfully carry these over to my garden without killing them over a wait of 2-3 days??
Here’s what i did:
a) keep in a shaded cool place in the car for a journey of 3 hours
b) arrive mid-destination and plant the tulsi in a pot(there were many saplings)
c) plunge the portulaca cuttings in water(in a yellow smiley cup-optional)
d) on the day of further journey, pick two tulsi saplings(leave the rest for mom) and wrap in a wet tissue drenched in water.
e) take some portulaca and wrap the roots in a plastic bag
f) keep both in a larger plastic bag and keep in hand luggage
g) MOST IMPORTANT: arrive at destination and immediately unwrap both. Place in containers of water. The tulsi must have wilted but don’t panic. Leave them like that for more than a day.
h) Notice the tulsi all perked up and ready for new growth. Plant and water.
i) Squeal in delight over portulaca growing roots in water. Wait impatiently for a few more days and plant when the roots look good enough.
j) pat myself on the back for a job well done!
I have noticed that sometimes planting portulaca without rooting in a sunny spot kills it easily. So this method of rooting in water definitely works for me specially when i can’t risk losing the cutting. Also, sadly, wilted cuttings seldom survive.
So this method works really well with cuttings and as for larger plants in packets, i usually stand them all in a tub and fill a few inches of water. The roots soak up water and stay good until i plant ,specially since top watering isn’t much helpful for plants in nursery bags.
At the time of writing this post, the tulsi has been happily planted and doing well; portulaca is still indoor and sprouting roots, i think i will take it out this weekend.. Till then Happy Gardening and Cya 🙂
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