Friday, November 11, 2011

Propagation Class - Hill Country Gardens

How often does a nursery let you run with scissors in their demonstration garden?  Take cuttings from any plant you like and they will help you root them.  Not too often, that's why the propagation class at Hill Country Gardens in New Braunfels is so popular.   A deal too good to pass up, yesterday I had the opportunity to attend one of the classes.

The presentation table is ready for the class.  Great setup and refreshments added to the fun on a pretty day.

The table base is a greenhouse truss and the beautifully curved top is pecan, cedar, oak, pine, and cypress woods.  It's covered with plastic today for the presentation, I'll get a better photo next time.

Andrea, the owner, started things off with a demonstration on propagation methods and how to take cuttings.

Soft, green tip cuttings work best.  You can also root woody stems from plants like Rosemary and Lavender by removing the needles along the stem to expose the cuticle.

Then we were given a small bucket of water and invited to roam the gardens for cuttings to fill the 72 cells in our trays.   You can read  about the gardens in my previous post.  I also brought cuttings from home.  Hill Country Gardens provided the trays, soil mix, rooting hormone, tags, snips and, the most important element, their greenhouse with misting system.

After collecting our cuttings, we poked holes in the trays with skewers, dipped cuttings in the rooting hormone provided, and set them in.

No problem filling these trays with cuttings from the well established garden of Texas natives and adapted plants. 

After we filled our trays, we took them into the greenhouse where they will be misted every ten minutes.  This class will be given again on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th at 1:00 pm each day, this table will be really full by Sunday afternoon.  There are also seminars from local gardening experts scheduled each day.

Around mid February we will get an email letting us know our cuttings are ready to pick up.  It's going to be so much fun to see how my cuttings turned out.

A greenhouse clearance sale was in progress and I picked plants on my list as well.  Another fun day and great special event at Hill Country Gardens.


  1. That would be a great class to attend, especially when you get up to 72 plants depending on how many survive. I attempt to propagate cuttings by putting small pots in a large Rubbermaid container. I usually have a 5% success rate (better than 0%). You should have a high success rate since your cuttings are rooting in a greenhouse with a misting system. Looking forward to seeing your results in February.

  2. My results at home are usually hit or miss too, especially with the woody stems.

    It's a great opportunity that I've not heard of anywhere else and I will definitely post on the results.

  3. Shirley thanks for stopping by. I still remember when I was a outside salesman and my many trips to Shumachers. Do they still have the pond with the overgrown horestail? lol. The prop. class would be great just to use their greenhouse. not so sure if its good for sales however. Good PR though. After reading your previous post its sounds like your on a great path for your landscaping. I purchased an Hesperaloe funifera while in San Angelo (7 gallon), not sure it was a wise choice for my garden, however. I must of had drought fever.

  4. Thanks greggo - The pond has been spruced up just like the rest of the place. I'll try to get photos of the pond next time. We did pay for the prop. service and I bought more plants too so I think the PR worked well.

    Hesperaloe are amazingly tolerant. Mine have survived torrential rains, record lows of 14F, the most incredible 65 hours below freezing last year and several snowfalls in 20 years. Give them good drainage and they should be fine.

  5. Propagation requires constant experimentation. One should decide on at least four methods and
    stick with them for different species.

    The use of rooting hormones for example, is a standard for those cut stems difficult to propagate.

    In essence, you are fortunate to have a nursery with such a wide scope in terms of customer satisfaction, vegetation and profits.

    Down here I do not bother to visit
    nurseries since their plants are common place abused is such a way that the whole island seems planted by the same person.

    Nice post.

  6. I'm sorry that I missed reading this until now, but this is a nursery that will definitely be getting a visit from me! I'm visiting their website next. I'm curious, do they have a good variety of succulents? This sounded like a fun day!

  7. Thanks AC, I enjoy having visitors from everywhere.

    Mandy - She has a nice selection of succulents and plans to add more. You can email Andrea from her website to put you on the list for notice of sales and special events.


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