propagating plants {simple indoor water garden}

propagating plants {simple indoor water garden}

- in Handmade

It’s spring again, which means I basically freaked out, forgot that I don’t, in fact, have a green thumb. I proceeded to purchase a ton of little plant babies I very much hope I don’t kill, instead. Wheeee.

Which means I still don’t really have said green thumb, but I’m feeling inspired so that counts for something, yes?

Aren’t they pretty? Bonus points for trying? I guess you could say that with the whole addition going on, I felt inspired to finally bring a few plants inside, too. I haven’t felt like we had much space inside for plants until now, and since the new room will be full of light and fabulous possibilities… plants it is.

Here’s the shameful part. I fell in love with a fiddle leaf fig.

I know. Nothing inherently shameful about it, other than the fact that I swore I never would. I held out for, oh, about five years because it felt like everyone and their brother’s sister’s grandmother’s dog had them. I was all, fiddle leaf fig is the next shiplap is the next paneled wall is the next linoleum floors and avocado green. But then I realized I kind of have the perfect corner in the new addition, and I don’t care if it’s trendy. At least I don’t wear macrame underwear? So I threw my pride to the wind and I’m in love. Meet Freddie the fabulous fiddle leaf fig everyone.

Yes, I need to get out more. No, I’m not sorry.

Freddie and I actually met on Amazon. {See plant + basket, here — Affiliate links.}

A super duper hard-core gardening friend laughed at me when I told her where he came from… but I was kinda proud of my resourcefulness. And I think Freddie is beautiful so BACK OFF, OKAY.

But I said all that to say, despite my recent well-intentioned mission to keep various plants alive… that we should have more plants for this wonderful light-filled room of ours. Can you see me slowly starting to spiral out of control with my plant obsession? You’re all, calm down, Ash!

Jamin has been side eyeing me for weeks now, because it ends the same every year. Shhhhh. Not this time. These plants are different. These plants, are special.

I started thinking about propagating plants, and how it would be the best thing ever to have a little water garden after they were started, inside our addition. And I decided since it was such a great project with the kiddos, we should try it.

When I was in high school, I visited my aunt and uncle in England for the summer. It was my first time flying by myself, and I felt so old at 15. It was a great life experience and I still remember that trip so fondly. But one of my favorite things, besides all the site seeing we did, {I even found a pair of shoes I’d be wearing cinderella-style the night I met my future husband} was that I grabbed a little english ivy off a wall, and took it back with me. My aunt, who is quite the proficient gardener, helped me propagate it in water.

It lived for a few years, and then I’m sad to say I think I left it in the sun for too long without watering it, because teenager brain, and it died. At least I’m telling myself it was teenager brain. I feel like this is my second chance to redeem myself for Ivy’s death. {I’m pretty sure I was super original and named her Ivy.} It would be amazing to have it now all these years later, but thus the project at hand. I shall avenge your death, IVY! We thought it would be a cool little spring project to try again with the kiddos.

First off, for such a simple process, there are about a bajillion different approaches for various plants. You could google for a million years for tips, but I went with what I know, because I believe that’s the simplest way to start. Here’s what you’ll need:

• Plants. 
– Yeah, I know. DUH.
I started with these three: English Ivy, A leaf from Freddie, and some fabulous rosemary.
Meaty plants do well. I guess that’s a not-nice way of saying they’re bigger boned plants on their little stems.

• Containers for said plants. 
– Nothing fancy, various jars from around the house will do. Though I do have visions of large and in charge beakers once they’ve started? Note to self: hunt down cool and large chemistry containers for cheap because expensive. I think all these chemistry people think we’re going to cook meth and thus the expense. It has nothing to do with the fact that they’re temperature resistant. Yes, I did watch Breaking Bad and no, I have no idea what I’m talking about. Am I the only one who gets nervous when she has to show her ID to buy Claratin D? So much stress. Forever rule follower.

• Scissors 
– Scored these great little sheers from here since I’m now a seasoned gardener, and stuff. Stylin’.

• Water
– Are you rolling your eyes at me yet? I decided to be extra cautious and de-chlorinate by letting it sit out overnight before adding them to my cuttings. It’s supposed to help. Stay tuned.

While it does seem pretty straight forward, here are a few more pointers I gleamed in the meantime of trying very hard to NOT KILL ALL THE THINGS:

• Dechlorinate the water by letting it sit out overnight, as discussed above.

• Keep temps indoors at around 70 degrees.

• As far as cuttings, it will honestly be different for every plant, but cut your stem and remove extra leaves that will go into the water. This helps it keep from becoming moldy, and this is where your little root bud babies will come from.

• Try to choose something that doesn’t have to support more than a few leaves on larger cuttings, so that it has time to grow.

• Place it in the sun, and watch it grow!

For funsies, we also decided to try an avocado seed because the boys are currently obsessed with the idea of a garden, and we thought this was a good, basic place to start. I however, have never had much luck the one other time I tried to grow an avocado seed. Here are a few more things I’ve learned as to why:

• Don’t use an avocado that has been refrigerated.

• Remove it from the avocado, and wash with water. Then skin the seed.

This is like peeling any other fruit, and works best when it’s right out of the avocado.

I felt so clever on this move.

No, it doesn’t take much.

Using some toothpicks at an angle, make sure it’s the right side up… the part that was attached to the tree with a small indention on top. Also, avoiding the lines that run vertically down the seed, {this is where it will split open} place your toothpicks in and wait for it to grow.

So now we’ve got our green thumbs on, and we’re shamelessly waiting for them in the windowsill, fingers crossed! Wish us luck, and we’ll keep you updated on our progress. Can’t wait to show them off when the space is finished.

No pressure or anything. ;} If they all die, I’m not telling you and we shall never mention this again.

Shame. Shame. Shame.

This was such a fun, simple spring project for the kids!

Be sure to check out a really easy project for them here, if you have littles!

As always, let me know if you try it, or if you have any other great tips!

We’ve got our outdoor project mode on this week. The annual zinnia garden is next!

Have an inspired day!

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