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Lucky Me – Free Plants

January 11th, 2011

Remember those beautiful ‘White Crane’ flowering kale I was waxing on and on about last fall? I thought they might sprout roots if I left them in water after they faded, so I put them down in the basement under the grow lights when they were past prime.

I noticed a few weeks ago that they had sprouted roots – HURRAH! I have 5 plants that I potted up and will planting them in the garden this spring. If I get lucky they’ll set seed and I’ll be able to save seed from them and end up with even more of them (if they do I’ll be sure to have a giveaway).

Next on the plant propagation list: blue sweet potatoes. I bought some blue sweet potatoes at the farmer’s market and I’ll try my hand at propagation soon, I’ll be posting more about my efforts in a few weeks. Propagating plants from sources like this is really the best way to get new plants for your garden, then you have a story to go along with them (not to mention they’re FREE).

Have you ever propagated plants “accidentally”?

12 Comments to “Lucky Me – Free Plants”
  1. A Year In My Garden on January 11, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I was quite good early last year and I potted up a load of euphorbia roots which show every sign of having taken – plus there are loads of other pots out there that i know i put roots in and i can’t even rememebr what they are – maybe i’ll recognise them if they come through

    As far as accidental propogation goes – I’ve managed that a few times in the fridge

    Reply to A Year In My Garden's comment

  2. Mrs. Whimsy on January 11, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Does having your potatoes sprout in the bag in the pantry count? lol Yes, I’ve carelessly thrown a few cuttings from houseplants into a Starbucks frappuccino glass bottle at y desk at work before and had them propagate. I took them home and potted them and now I have a thriving plant. Beyond experimentation though, I’m not sure which ones do better than others, or which veggies you can do that with. It will be great to read all the comments here about others’ experience.

    Reply to Mrs. Whimsy's comment

  3. Anna on January 11, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Accidently on purpose, I’ve started many things that came to me free, or were sold as food- little branches or leaves broken off of house plants and coleuses, plants other people had thrown out as garbage, half alive, and so on.

    I’ve also got some sweet potato starts on my window seal right now, and last year I planted some really old potatoes a room mate had forgotten about.

    Reply to Anna's comment

  4. Lona on January 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Don’t you just love free? LOL! I wish I had luck with water rooting or any rooting for that matter. They just usually root for me. Looks like you are on your way to some spring gardening already.

    Reply to Lona's comment

  5. Nebraska Dave on January 11, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Oh, yeah, every year I have propagation going on all over the garden bed from last year where I grew the tomatoes. I never try to save them even though they are Rutger which would reproduce just fine. I am building a food storage area in my basement and the thought came to me that I seed starting station could be built in the same area quite easily. I’m full of ideas but slow on completion at times so only time will tell if it comes to fruition.

    Have a great propagation day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  6. annie on January 11, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I’ve definitely had rotten potatoes sprout and grow in the compost pile, tomatoes volunteer in the garden, and an avocado seed we tossed into the chicken pen with other kitchen scraps is now 2.5 feet tall. I’ve also had cut flowers I put in a vase root, although I can never remember which ones end up doing that so I can never do it on purpose

    Reply to annie's comment

  7. TreeHugginMomma on January 11, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    The white flowering Kale is lovely. Is it Edible?

    Reply to TreeHugginMomma's comment

  8. Morgan G on January 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Blackberries! Deciding we must have planted them in a less-than-optimal part of the garden, we uprooted them entirely and removed the initial clippings. Or so with thought. There must be six happy babies reclaiming the area now. Yet another lesson in patience courtesy of Ma Nature…

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  9. bonnie on January 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “May contain occasional pits”

    Planted the date pit that chanced to be in a bag of pitted dates, left the pot, a year or so later it sprouted! It eventually died (maybe not enough light in winter or other unfavorable conditions), but it was the most amazing thing to me that the pit that managed to slip through the process was actually viable.

    Reply to bonnie's comment

  10. Kaytee on January 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    The only “accidentally” propagated plant has been cherry tomatoes in my parents’ garden when I was younger. We planted them one year and they would reseed themselves every year for several years. They would pop up in all different spots in the garden.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  11. Kelly (The Sorry Gardener) on January 12, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Are those blue sweet potatoes similar to the strain Joan Dye Gussow plants every year as her fallback, no-fail sweet potato in her book This Organic Life? If so, I can’t wait to hear how they do for you. If I had more space, I’d try them myself.

    Reply to Kelly (The Sorry Gardener)'s comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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