Have fun propagating plants!

Just two days ago, I attended a talk entitled “Have Fun Propagating Plants” organised by HortPark at Seng Kang Library.

Upon reaching the location, I was greeted by a hilarious predicament – the speaker was quite appalled to see so many adults entering the room (to be precise, the children’s activity room) as the session was meant for children.

Well the adults there didn’t know! Perhaps they received the same information as I did in my inbox:

Plant propagation is a means for gardeners to increase their plant quantity. Besides the common method of seed propagation, new plants can also be propagated via various plant parts like stems, leafs and division of crowns. Come and listen to this talk conducted by Ms Pearl Ho from HortPark who will share with you some simple and creative tips on how you can successfully propagate your plant numbers using interesting ideas. This talk will serve as a good opportunity for kids to learn more about the anatomy of plants and how to start their first plant or perhaps even their first garden too!

I guess the last line was inferring the age group for this session. At most, I thought it was a family event where both parents and children could learn propagating plants together. Whoopsie! Nevertheless, the session went ahead smoothly, and both young and mature participants enjoyed it very much πŸ™‚

Here are some pictures!

Check out the different age groups attending this talk - the setting was informal as we could choose to sit on chairs provided or the carpeted floor

An adult checking out the mint leaves as Ms Pearl Ho answers the many questions from the kids πŸ™‚

An eye-opening array of propagated plants on display!

We were told to rub these leaves gently and smell our fingers. We sniffed yummy minty freshness!

Pearl demonstrates how to prune a plant

You can tell that there was a lot going on just by looking at the (messy) table πŸ˜‰

A close look at one of the creative ways you can propagate your plants - by arranging them to form a design! There are some recycled materials used here - dried plant ladies' fingers, egg shells and stones

You may be wondering why I attended this session when composting household wastes sounds a tad far off from gardening. Good thought! Well, gardening actually has a lot to do with composting – otherwise where would all your black gold (compost) go to? πŸ™‚

Moreover, through my composting experience, I have been inspired to grow a few plants by myself in the near future. The ones I have at home have been under my dad’s care.

What about you? Have you thought about growing your own edible plants (e.g. curry leaves, lime, mint leaves, pandan leaves etc) right at your doorstep? Or how about pretty fragrant ones with bright flower petals that are wonderful to smell and look at?

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Here are some notes I scribbled during the session. You might pick up a useful point or two!

  • Propagate plants at their nodes (the part where new leaves/buds tend to sprout)
  • Fill the bottom part of your pot with stones/charcoal/LECA before adding soil – this prevents the soil from being waterlogged and allows excess water to drain out
  • Ensure that the bottom of your pot has holes for draining
  • When you add soil to the pot, compress the soil tightly so that the propagated plant can have a stable foundation/hold
  • When you choose a part of a plant to propagate, pick the portion with new buds – this encourages blooming at a later stage
  • If you are a beginner in gardening/planting like me, choose to grow low and easy maintenance plants, such as Japanese Rose, and Money plant
  • Water your newly propagated plant at least once every day – water is very important at this stage!
  • Spray plant with e.g. compost tea to prevent fungus
  • It is very important to understand your plants and get to know them during your gardening experience – something which books cannot teach you completely
  • “Air plants” are suitable for growing in toilets
  • You can use empty egg shells as temporary pots for rooting of newly propagated plants
  • Plants usually root at the node
  • There is such a plant called the “Wandering Jew” – it has amazing purple leaves!

Lastly, what I loved best about this session was its enthusiastic use of recycled materials in gardening. Instead of using plastic containers and pots, I learnt that it is possible to grow plants in egg cardboard cartons, egg shells, computer cardboard packaging and shredded paper.

Moreover, you can enjoy greater room for creativity when you use egg shells!

Recycle, recycle, recycle! It is easy, attractive, and fun!Image from http://www.naturemoms.com

A lady also asked near the end of the session if there was any information on composting. She lamented that she had a lot of fallen leaves from her plants, and she wished she could somehow compost them into fertiliser. “Such a waste to throw all of them away,” she said.

Well, that moment pleasantly warmed my heart. I wrote this blog’s address on the only piece of scrap paper that I had and passed it to her. I hope it gave her some answers πŸ™‚

Another upcoming event by HortPark is happening this Saturday (15 May). They are having a Plant Conservation Day Gardening Bazaar with gardening programmes.

For more information, click here.


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