I’m a prolific propagator. I imagine most gardeners are. I can’t seem to let the bits and pieces broken off my plants when I move them around go to waste. It would be so easy to just snatch the pieces up and throw them in the trash. But I find it extremely hard to do so. I’m always grabbing a pot, filling it with dirt , and burying an amputated piece of this or that. On the bright side, I always have plenty of growing things to give away. When friends or family come over and admire something, I’m thrilled to gift them with it.
However, there are days when I just don’t have the time to pot up something properly. So over the years, I’ve started planting some of those bits and pieces in my flower beds. Hey….what have I got to lose! There’s always an empty spot in a nearby bed. Sometimes I don’t even bother to dig a hole. I just drop it on the ground, kick some dirt over it and keep going.
To my surprise those throwaways sometimes take up permanent residence and I couldn’t be more delighted. A handful of walking iris formed a clump about 3 foot wide over last summer (pictured above) and stayed green all winter. In the last 2 weeks it has bloomed 3 times. Each time it’s had between 19 & 22 blooms. Some spider pups I planted next to a stump are back for the third year. I sank an asparagus fern in the ground next to a water fountain and it quadrupled in size. It also stayed green all year.
Not everything survives. Last year I tried false bromeliads. They were gorgeous all summer and a nice contrast in texture next to the other plants. Sadly, they gave up the ghost with the first cold spell. Still, they were beautiful while they lasted and filled a bare spot. Considering they were broken pieces that would otherwise have gone on the compost heap, I’m not complaining.
So be adventurous. Stick those bits and pieces that break off unexpectedly into one of your flower beds. They can fill an empty spot. They may be temporary visitors and disappear at the end of the season. Then again, you might see them pop up next year.
Hey…..what have you got to lose?