ANZ's Farms

Monday, May 7, 2012

Multiplying Berries

It worked! I'm so excited! Thanks to Kendra at New Life on a Homestead! Her blog post, Propagating Elderberry Bushes, inspired me to try starting some elderberry bushes from my cuttings. The results are pictured here.
Elderberry bush cutting

Let me tell you about the day I did this. My wonderful neighbor Heather came for a visit. I showed her my latest adventure in gardening, this propagating-new-plants-from-prunings idea. She laughed. Not the response I was expecting. Then she told me that her mother had done this ... without success.  She and her dad had laughed at her mother, too. Frankly, I had tried this before with other prunings and had the same outcome as her mother. So I wasn't expecting much.

Fast forward to today, about 8 weeks later. I have 4 new elderberry bushes that are thriving! It was so easy -- a pot, some good composted dirt and the cutting. I followed Kendra's instruction to lop off the top of the cutting and bury the stem up to the second set of leaves. I didn't use root accelerator or anything fancy. Once potted, I placed it in the green house (I pruned in February, so it needed protection from freezing/frost). I kept the soil damp with frequent watering. 

At first, the existing leaves withered and the experiment looked like a failure. But I persevered and my efforts have paid off, in more ways than one. I am sharing in the work of The Creator, and have a great sense of accomplishment in bringing forth new life. Plus, given that I paid $15 each for the original bare root plants, the calculator in my head heightens my joy.

Last week, armed with confidence from this adventure, I dug up some of my raspberry bushes and potted them, roots and all. Even if the plants don't live, it was a necessary thing to do. These volunteers had taken root in the garden, migrating from the nearby berry patch. My husband's saying -- "A weed is a plant out of place." -- really helps me keep perspective when the need to "kill" a plant arises.

So, berry bushes are multiplying around here.  Now, with a little patience, berries should be multiplying around here, too. I hope to enjoy the fruit of my labor in the years to come.


  1. I like your husband's weed saying! Have you ever come across info on propagating from a fig tree?

  2. That weed saying has really helped me. When I don't abide by it, the garden gets out of control! Since we don't spray, I have alot of volunteers :)

    No, I have not learned anything about propagating fig trees. I have 2 small trees that I purchased. When they get big enough, I'll probably try starting prunings, but figrue they are more like fruit tress than berry bushes and need root stock?!