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Snowdrops and Gooseberries

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2011 19:29
by Monica
I rescued some snowdrops today. The bulbs had pushed their way up to the surface of the soil. Replanted them in the grass one inch deep. Does anyone know why the bulbs pushed themselves up to the soil surface?

Also found a new gooseberry bush attached to its parent plant. (A prolific fruiter) The new bush had formed as a result of a branch coming into contact with the ground. The branch developed roots at the point of contact with the soil and a new plant formed. All I needed to do was sever the new plant from the parent and pot it up. What is the technical term for the branch of a plant rooting in the soil like that? I'd love to find out.

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2011 19:43
by gardening_guru
Hello Monica,

The snowdrops may have pushed themselves up to the soil surface because the clump had become congested. Preferably after flowering, carefully pull the clump apart and replant groups of 5-6 bulbs in various locations around the garden.

The method of propagation used to produce the new gooseberry bush is called layering. It’s a natural process that the keen gardener can take advantage of. Other plants that you can propagate from layering include Blackberries and Forsythia.

PostPosted: 28 Feb 2011 17:50
by Monica
Thanks for your help Gardening Guru,

Last autumn I purchased a single plant of Primula ‘Lilacina Plena’ (Quaker’s Bonnet) – a lovely little polyanthus. It soon bulked up and I was able to split the plant into several little ones by gently pulling apart at the roots. The hard winter made them look very sad and lacklustre.

I have repotted them, fed them with a little chicken manure, put them in the gazebo and hopefully they will revive and survive to be split once more, when they’ve bulked up again. If not, I’ll buy a single plant again and start the propagation process once more; the plant is worth it, it gives me so much pleasure.

Is there any other way that I can propagate this lovely little plant?

PostPosted: 28 Feb 2011 18:42
by gardening_guru
Hi Monica,

Be careful with that chicken maure! Remember it is quite concentrated, you need to be careful with how much you use because it can burn the roots if it comes into direct contact with them.

You could try collecting the seeds of your Primula ‘Lilacina Plena’ and sowing it fresh in late summer/earlty autumn. But you might find that the resulting young plants will be different to the parent.

Some Primulas can be propagated by inserting small, thick root cuttings (4-5cm long) just under the surface of the compost.

Another recognised technique is called 'scooping' where the crown of the whole plant is scooped away with a sharp knife in early spring, just as growth is about to begin. Scooping exposes the top of the root system. The wound is dusted with fungicide, and sharp sand is put on top.
In time, the wound will produce several new shoots, at this point the plant is carefully removed from the soil and the new plants carefully pulled apart, each with it's own new set of roots. Pot on and you have free Primulas!