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.