Plants from the side of the road

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by purplesage, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    For some time I've had my eye on what suspiciously looks like an aniseed plant, growing in an industrial area on the side of the road.

    I'm wondering how safe it would be to take some part of it? I assume it would contain too much lead pollution to take a bit away to plant at my place; what about the seeds, would they be safe to grow a new plant from?
  2. wilko13

    wilko13 Member

    Glad I'm not the only one that drives around with a shovel. The seeds should be fine. The amount of lead, if any would be so small in the seed that it wouldn't matter.
  3. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Me too. Here I thought I was crazy carrying shears and plastic bags in my pocket..

    I just made some azalea cuttings (2) and have been experimenting in rooting them in only water (after preparing the small stems). I'm told it will take up to two months to root them well but here's the catch - I'm not using a rooting hormone. This may sound a bit silly but I'm a novice and am not sure if it will work. It's not that I cannot obtain any, they're at my doorstep. But I was just trying to see if it will work. Would it take longer? Is it a hit and miss? Any tips would be helpful. :)
  4. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    Hey glad I'm not the only one! If it's growing wild and belongs to no-one, then why not use what nature put there for us?

    Thanks for the advice wilko13. I'm glad about that.

    .hannah., sorry can't help, I would like to know that myself.
  5. wilko13

    wilko13 Member

    If it works fine, if not, you learned something. Nothing wrong with starting it out as a house plant.
  6. poor_old_dad

    poor_old_dad Senior Member

    Most of what I grow is from seed, but there are somethings that can only be propogated by cuttings. The Azalea Society of Amarica has a great page about propagating Azaleas (or about anything else ).

    And as far as how long does it take to root a cutting, if the leaves are still alive, I just let it go. I've had some things sit aroung in jars of water 14 months, then send out roots. Right now I'm working on teaching myself to do layering.

  7. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    I agree, Purplesage. And thanks all - I appreciate the input. I'll be starting them out as houseplants if the rooting is successful... but I'm not too optimistic all of a sudden with poorolddad's info. Yikes!

    Since my last post here, I've taken a couple more cuttings and put it in a separate flask, this time with rooting hormone. I did some reading and found that azaleas can take up to 2 months to root. That doesn't sound unreasonable. I hope not 14, if at all..

    What did you mean by "if the leaves are still alive, I just let it go"? Not good material to propagate, or do you mean you let it propogate? The stems I have here have leaves that are very much still alive I think. I only made the cuttings 2-3 days ago. Apparently it's recommended to root them immediately, even though I heard of some putting it in the fridge overnight before doing so. I don't think that was for azalea.

    Air-layering is interesting too and I will try one day when I can devote more time to ensure I don't kill off a whole plant entirely. That's great that you're trying/teaching yourself something new!
  8. poor_old_dad

    poor_old_dad Senior Member

    I did not want to cause you to loose optimism, no, no, not at all. Even though I start most stuff from seed, I've been taking and sprouting cuttings for .... well, I can't remember.... but a long time. I've been known to sneak cuttings out of fast food places, post office parking lots, waiting rooms, people's homes & yards, all sorts of places. Working with cuttings gives me a warm, good feeling that I can't describe, and I think it's an important gardening/farming skill to learn. For example, every Naval (seedless) orange tree in the world came from cuttings from a single tree that was found in Brazil.

    I've found that test tubes and a test tube rack work great, for cuttings being rooted in water. Another thing I did, I learned by starting with something (mint) easy to root and grow from cuttings.

    What I ment is that I don't give up on cuttings. I've read the stuff about, "will root in 3 to 4 weeks", stuff like that. If my cuttings are still alive, I just let them continue trying to root. I determine if they're still alive by feeling the leaves ... soft, supple = alive .... dry, brittle = dead... color doesn't matter. I've known folks who've said, "Well, it didn't root in the time they said it would, so I guess it's not going to.", and threw the cutting out. .... "if the leaves are still alive, I just let it go" ....

    One other thing, I don't consider propagating by cuttings as starting a new plant, I think of it as a continuation, or extension of the original.

  9. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    unless they are native species azaleas, they are unlikely to root from cuttings outside the greenhouse environment where you can control the temperature, humidity, soil ph, and all that stuff. You might get lucky, it's always worth a try! Rooting hormone powder just doesn't work for some plants (I've never had any good results using it versus not using it, and I feel it's a waste of time and money), but what does actually work for me is to take some water I have rooted something else in, like pothos or philodendron, and use that water to root something more difficult. I usually try to root at least three cuttings, using different methods. Some cuttings root better in an open cup of water, others like long-neck beer bottles, some root better just planted in the soil you will grow them in, etc. Some like it dark, some need lots of sun. Some things like mint or rosemary will grow no matter what you do to them. It's so much fun to experiment and see what works best for you!
  10. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    Oh I've killed a few rosemary plants in my time! Heheh

    By accident I found a lentil that was sitting in a bucket of old water in my kitchen, growing roots... I'll have to plant it and see what happens.
  11. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Purplesage, that's wonderful! Really made me smile. I hope the little lentil plant does very well. Did you eventually take the aniseed-looking plant?

    Poorolddad and Mamaboogie, you both have been such great helps. I appreciate it muchos. It looks like the great azalea has tempted me with a slightly tricky situation. :) I'll let the cuttings be for now as they've been made, prepared and are in their containers. The information about the orange tree is very interesting, and I was intrigued to hear about old rooting water being used for new cuttings ? That's genius.

    I don't know if you guys read my other jade plant problem thread ( but I've decided to slowly create "extensions" or "continuations" as Poorolddad would say, from the good parts of the stems, one at a time. If I am successful with one cutting, then I'll slowly root all the (once-) affected stems. It seems like a drastic measure but I don't like the way the mold looks. I've found black holes/spots larger than that tiny one in that picture.
  12. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    Thank you Hannah, for your kind lentil tree wishes! :) I went near the aniseed place on the weekend but didn't get a chance to look. But I'm definitely going to get some.

    Passing on good azalea wishes your way. :)
  13. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    Great! Keep us posted then. And thank you. :)
  14. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    Got 2 green aniseed cuttings plus a dried up cutting which looks like it has/had seeds. I've put them in a bottle of water. I don't know what the heck to do with em now. Might chuck them in a pot and see what happens.

    I've still got the lentil in water and it's still growing a lovely green shoot with tiny leaves... will plant it out tomorrow.
  15. .Hannah.

    .Hannah. Member

    That's superb!! I'm glad to hear about the lentil and we'll see about the aniseeds.

    To be honest all my water-rooting techniques seem to fail horribly. With Woodenfrog's advice I'm now trying to root some ficus retusa cuttings. Fingers crossed.

    Also, I took a few more azalea cuttings and potted them with some hormone, bagged the top of the pot for humidity and letting them be now.

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