Monthly Archives: July 2015

Citrus propagation – 2 year progress report

Thought it might be interesting to take a look at how my citrus plants, propagated in May 2013 from a Calamondin orange tree, are coming along.

There’s no denying that they are taking their time! To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little frustrated by the slowness of growth and was glad to be able to look back at my photos from this time last year to reassure myself that they have indeed been growing!

This is how they were in May 2014, the seedling then the cuttings:

citrus-seedling-10th-may

citrus-cuttings-10th-may-chlorosis

I originally had 4 rooted cuttings and one plant grown from a pip, but I gave away one of the cuttings, so here are the remaining 3 plus the seed-grown specimen as they are now:

citrus-group-25th-july

 

and from a lower angle to show the height:

 

citrus-collection-25th-july-2-years-growth

 

and some individual shots, firstly the seedling:

citrus-seedling-25th-july

then the cuttings:

citrus-cutting-2-25th-july

citrus-cutting-3-25th-july

citrus-cutting-1-25th-july

The tallest of the plants is actually the seedling at 18 inches, with the tallest of the three cuttings coming in at 15 inches.

Habit-wise, they’re all a bit leggy in my opinion, but that probably has to do with the less than optimal indoor growing conditions that I have over winter – if I had a cool conservatory to keep them very light and bright but frost-free I imagine that would be a fair bit better than sitting them next to a north-facing patio door in a centrally-heated lounge!

On the whole, though, I’m quite pleased. They all seem to be somewhat prone to yellowing of the newer foliage in spite of the various tonics and citrus feeds that I apply, but apart from that, they appear to be healthy and doing fine.

I am holding back from potting them on for as long as I dare because I know from experience that citrus seem to do better for being a little pot-bound and certainly don’t like being moved into too big a pot too quickly – give them too much new compost around the rootball and the roots don’t seem to want to move out into it for some reason.

So, there we are. They are outside for the summer in a fairly sunny spot and I feed them with citrus food once a week and water fairly frequently – I don’t keep them soggy but I don’t allow them to dry out as much as I do in winter.

I think it might still be a while before I see any flowers/fruit on these, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

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Propagating lilies: 4th update

Time for another look at my tree lily propagation project.

It’s nearly two months since I potted most of them up, and they seem to be coming along nicely  (apart from the one that was eaten by a slug overnight!): lilies-mid-july

What I find curious is that some of them have thrown up a single stalk as if they were about to flower like the parent plant, whilst the others have no main stem and are forming a rosette of leaves at ground level instead. Why this difference exists I have no idea, but when I came to pot them on, it seemed to be that it was the smaller bulbs producing the single stem and the larger bulbs producing the rosette: lilies-side-by-side

Looking at the two side by side, I can’t help thinking the bulb with the rosette looks the stronger and healthier of the two and is better placed to grow on more effectively, but who knows? I’ve potted them on into larger pots of multi-purpose compost mixed with a little perlite for extra drainage and will label them so that I can keep an eye on them as they develop and note any differences in growth and habit next year. I’m fascinated to find out, I have to say!

As for the plant that was eaten by the slug, I was going to chuck it straight in the compost bin (I’m not exactly short of lilies!) but, of course, I had to see what was under the compost, and it turns out to be a perfectly healthy-looking little bulb with a decent root system: eaten-bulb

…so, naturally, I’m keeping it!  I’ve put it back in its pot in some new compost and will see how it fares.

So, here they all are, freshly potted on, including a pot (the largest one) that I left as a group having decided not to separate them from the parent scale to see if it made any difference to the speed of development: lilies-potted-on-22nd-july

One thing that did concern me as I was potting them on was how deep to bury them. When you plant dormant bulbs you are supposed to cover them with around twice their height in soil, but these of course are not dormant, so I presume that they should be covered more or less to the depth they were previously? That’s what I ended up doing, so I hope it’s right! I’ll keep them out of hot sun (assuming we get any!) for the next week or so whilst they re-establish, then grow them on in a nice light position until the end of the season when I shall have to decide how to over-winter them: coldframe? sheltered position in the open air? Not sure yet…and I’ll probably change my mind a dozen times knowing me! I expect I’ll hedge my bets and do both…:)