Economy Bedding Plants

Grow Cuttings Off Your Seedlings To Stretch Your Garden Budget

You go to the garden center, but to have a good show of color in your gardens you have to drop hundreds of dollars. Here's a way to make your budget go further; grow economy bedding plants. How? I'll show you.


There are lots of patented plants in the selection of bedding plants at your local nursery or garden center, which means you're not allowed to propagate them.

So ignore those, find some of the plants that you are allowed to take cuttings from, and increase the numbers 100%.

Yes, you heard me; for every dollar you spend at the garden center, you can save an equal amount by growing your own cuttings.

So instead of having only a few geraniums, you can have many. All the same great colors as your originals, and all just as healthy, making a lush, photo-worthy display.

Other plants that are super easy to propagate are wave petunias and impatiens. These can be grown from seed, then when they are big enough, cuttings may be easily taken from them, and they'll root in only a few weeks. They will quickly catch up to the original plants.

The benefit to these plants is the sheer number of cuttings  you can take off one lone plant. Added to that is that this process of cutting off the tops of each shoot is that it makes the original plant more compact and bushy.

economy-bedding-plants-wave-petunias600x800.jpgCarmine Wave and Purple Wave Petunias, grown from seed, then propagated by cuttings

Alternately, you can grow various plants from seed, then when they reach a size where they have enough growth, propagate them by cuttings.

As the growth is so young, they'll root very quickly, especially under grow lights. Juvenile shoots have the potential for extremely fast rooting

Some of the best plants for this process are the wave petunias, a group known for their trailing stems and ground covering potential. Grown in hanging baskets, two plants can be all it takes for a full and lush container.

Others are surprising - the Impatiens, grown for their bright colorful flowers, particularly impressive under ferns or other shade loving plants, can put out a lot of cutting worthy shoots. They root within a  couple of weeks, catching up to their parents and even flowering ahead of them.

economy-bedding-plants-impatiens600x800.jpgImpatiens - a surprising candidate for seed and cuttings

The final candidate is an all time favorite; Pelargonium, otherwise known as zonal geraniums. I grew an expensive package of Maverick geraniums, and when they started to get too big for their little three inch clay pots, I chopped off their tops.

These rooted in a short time, giving me enough stock to plant in the garden, something I rarely do.

economy-bedding-plants-geraniums600x800.jpgSeed grown Geraniums, just after cutting off the tops to propagate

In time, I'll take cuttings off my favorite colors and overwinter them, letting the frost take all the others. Meanwhile, they will make an explosive show in my garden, with the sheer numbers I've made from just a few seedlings. My budget was minimal, but I've made it stretch.

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