I doubt there is anyone who doesn’t appreciate receiving a beautiful bouquet, and it brightens up the mood. There are so many varieties of flowers that can create a bouquet arrangement. They were once a part of a rooted mother plant specifically grown for the cut flower market. The best thing about a bouquet is that it doesn’t need to be discarded. You can successfully grow flowers from a bouquet.
Growing flowers from a bouquet is a simple procedure and have a reasonable success rate. The fresher the flowers are, the better the cuttings will root. The best time to take cuttings from a bouquet is when you receive them or the day after to ensure rooting. Some flowers will not root, unfortunately.
Growing flowers in the traditional sense usually start with a seed or a rooted seedling or making cuttings from the rooted mother plants. What is not so common is making cuttings from a bouquet as they are presumed useless without an established mother plant. Bouquets usually only last around a week with the right amount of sugar or other invigorators in the water. It is then discarded in the trash.
Can You Plant Flowers From A Bouquet?
You can successfully plant flowers from a bouquet provided you act fast and use the cut flowers to make cuttings while still fresh. Not every flower variety will make a successful candidate for good quality cuttings, and there are specific criteria needed like nodes.
Certain varieties of cut flowers have been grown to have longer, smoother stems to make arrangements easier. This means that the usually well-formed nodes will not be as prominent as in a similar flower grown in nature.
Which Bouquet Flowers Make Good Cuttings?
Certain flower varieties will almost always guarantee successful cloning from a bouquet arrangement. Let’s look at some of those and tips on choosing the best flowers for the process;
- Rose varieties
These flowers are among the more prolific rooters and should yield a more significant success level when attempting to root them from a bouquet.
Tips For Choosing The Best Flower
- Freshly Cut – The freshest cut flowers are the best to use. If your bouquet is already a few days old, the chances are that it is already decaying, and you might not find a suitable node.
- Nodes – You need to look for flowers with a good amount of nodes. Sometimes these flowers are grown or cut so that there are no nodes on the stem. This means the flower will not be able to be rooted.
- Numbers – Use as many of the flowers you can, this way, you are guaranteed a percentage of success. Be patient as you might not be successful the first time.
Let us look at some of these tips in more detail;
Where Do You Start?
Step #1: Find The Nodes
This would be the most critical step. Finding the available nodes on a cut flower is pretty simple, and this is where the cutting will produce roots. A node looks like a bit of bump or a joint segment. This is typically where a leaf would grow from or a side branch.
If you are unable to identify any, you will not be able to make a cutting from that stem.
If you can find a node, strip any leaves around it off. Leave the stems n water until you are ready to cut them.
Step #2: The Planting Medium
No cutting will grow successfully without a suitable planting medium. There are so many soil mixes you can prepare. The secret is good drainage with a bit of moisture retention capacity.
A good mix for rooting new cuttings is vermiculite; triple washed river sand or builders sand, peat moss, and outstanding grade potting soil.
Fill uprooting trays to the top and water the trays to soaking. This will ensure there are no air pockets in between. Once you dip your cuttings in the rooting or hormone powder, you can poke a hole with a pencil and place the cutting straight in. This allows the hormone powder to stay on the cutting.
Gently firm up the soil around the cutting to stand up straight and don’t water immediately. It would help if you had the moisture in the ground to activate the hormone powder on the cutting. Water a couple of hours later.
Step #3: After Care
After the cuttings have been placed into the growing medium, the rooting process can begin. A bit of time and patience is needed for the rooting. Rooting is a tricky process, with some varieties rooting prolifically and others much less vigorously.
While you wait for the rooting to become more substantial, you will notice new buds might start to form as well. The secret is to keep the soil and cuttings free from pests and disease. Keeping it well watered and make sure it is getting enough natural light. A minimum of 8 hours is needed.
Once you are sure the cuttings have rooted properly, you can then prepare a few pots with a posting soil mix for replanting. Following the same procedure, water the soil beforehand so that the new roots are not burnt when exposed to dry ground.
Step By Step – How To Make A Cutting
Now that you have some essential tips on selecting a suitable candidate flower for the cutting-making process. For most, this would be the first time you are attempting to make a cutting, and this is what you will need;
- A good set of Felco pruning shears or
- A razor knife and blade refills or
- A set of Japanese Bonsai scissors,
- Isopropyl-alcohol to disinfect the tools and
- Thin gardening gloves.
Start by disinfecting the tools you have and place them on a clean rag. Now we can look at exactly how to make the cutting.
There are usually three types of cuttings you can make from semi-hardwood and hardwood plants. They are called;
- Mallet – complex rooting plants
- Heel – difficult rooting plants
- Straight – the most common and well-known cutting for easy rooting plants.
Choose The Stems. When you select the flower stem, look for a firm stem with several nodes. Where it has a few leaves on it, that will be the area you will be using.
Measure The Stem. It would be best to have a piece of stem that is around 2 to 4 inches long. This will give you enough length after making the cutting to pant it securely. You can leave any leaves on the stem for now.
Make The Cut. Take your sterilized tool and make a cut just below a node. Ensure the blades are very sharp so that you do not crush the stem and the inner cells. This will prevent rooting and ultimately kill the cutting. Make sure the node is not cracked or split. Avoid handling the cutting by its stem or node by gently holding onto one of the lower leaves.
After you make each cutting, sterilize your blades with the Isopropyl-alcohol and let it dry for a second before using it again. This way, you prevent any chance of contamination, and disease sets in.
By removing most of the leaves, you help the new cutting preserve energy. Leave 1 or 2 leaves near the top so that the cutting can photosynthesize. Too many leaves will direct energy away from root formation and to the leaves.
The Best Rooting Agent
There are several ways you can prepare a rooting agent for your new cuttings. The store-bought, conventional methods are the most common and the easiest way. They come in three different solutions;
- A liquid
- A powder and
- A gel.
These are easy to come by and can be bought from your nearest plant nursery or hardware store. The instructions on these products are simple and easy to follow. All of these products require a dipping on of the cutting and taking it out immediately. You then place the cutting straight into the rooting medium.
If you do not wish to use conventional rooting products, you can easily make different organic and environmentally friendly rooting solutions at home. Most households have these products in the food cupboards already. Here are a few rooting solution recipes;
Rooting Solution #1 – Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar – use a brand that has the mother inside, raw and unfiltered
- 1 Gallon of good quality water
Mix the vinegar and water and dip your cuttings in the solution. Place inside the rooting soil medium immediately.
Rooting Solution #2 – Organic Raw Honey
Raw organic honey is not only delicious, but it has other exceptional qualities. Honey is naturally anti-bacterial, and the rooting solution is easy to make;
- 1 Tablespoon of raw organic honey (irradiated honey will not work)
- 2 Cups of warm previously boiled water
Mix the two ingredients and pour them into a mason jar. Let it cool down and decant a little as needed. Storing this in a cool, dry place will make it last around two weeks. Once you are ready with new cuttings, simply dip in the decanted solution and place directly into the rooting mixture.
Rooting Solution #3 – Asprin
- 1 Aspirin regular strength crushed.
- 1 Gallon good quality water.
Mix the crushed aspirin into the water and put the cuttings into the solution. You can let them soak for a few hours to soak up the aspirin water. Plant into the soil mix immediately.
Rooting Solution #4 – Ground Cinnamon
Every household has cinnamon in the cupboard somewhere. This is an excellent rooting solution since it is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Just sprinkle some in a container and wet the cuttings, dip directly into the cinnamon powder. Plant straight into the rooting soil mix.
Step By Step – Preparing The Soil Mix
Preparing the soil mix is just as important as making the cuttings correctly and applying the rooting solution. All aspects work together to guarantee successful rooting. Here is how to prepare the soil;
The Soil Mix
Soil – Measure using equal solutions of fine potting soil, vermiculite, good quality coconut peat moss, and triple washed river sand. Mix it in a large wheelbarrow or an outside plastic dustbin with a sealable lid. This way, you can keep the soil for future projects.
Once the soil has been mixed, fill a container with drainage holes at the bottom with the ground. Fill it to the brim and compact down nice and firm.
Water – This part is essential. Water the soil so that it runs out the bottom holes. It would be best if you did this before you place the cutting into the mix. This will provide the cuttings with immediate moisture and prevent the hormone or rooting solution from being inactive.
Hole – Here, you can take a pencil or pen, and using the backside of it, you make a hold in the center of the pot. This way, you prevent the cutting from snapping or the rooting solution from coming off.
Plant –You can take one cutting per hole and place it inside. Make sure you do not bury any leaves. Stabilize the cutting by gently compacting the soil around it with your fingers. You can plant a few cuttings in each pot as long as they are in individual holes.
You can plant several cuttings in a single container, but be careful not to overcrowd the pot. For a medium-sized container about 8 inches (20 cm) across, 5-6 cuttings will fill the pot with enough room to grow.
Cover – You can take a clear plastic bag and cover it over the pot; this will help seal in moisture. Secure the bag around the edge with an elastic band. Make sure there is space between the cuttings and the top of the bag.
Position the covered pot in such a way that it gets a little direct sun, plenty of natural light, and warmth. This will help with photosynthesis. Keep an eye out for fungus. You can make several holes in the bag to assist in airflow, preventing mold and fungus from growing.
Water – The container needs to be moist but not soaked all the way through. You should not leave the soil to dry out since that will damage the roots. Monitor the container at the bottom for any signs of plant roots. If any of the cuttings appear dead or sick, remove them immediately.
Transplanting – As soon as you see visible roots, you can now transplant them successfully rooted bouquet flower cuttings into individual pots. By now, they would have shot new leaves and should be well on their way to becoming a solid clone of the mother plant.
Be very gentle when transplanting the rooted cuttings; you don’t want to break the roots. That can put the cutting onto shock, and it could die. Be sure to plant the cutting into an appropriate soil mix to provide the nutrients and density needed to flourish.
Once the plant has successfully rooted in the second pot, you can transplant it over to a larger container or straight into the garden.
Growing flowers from a bouquet is possible and, for the most part, very simple if you follow the step-by-step guide. There is usually a 70% success rate with cuttings in general; there are always variables that need to be considered. Disease, bugs, or fungus can take their toll on new cuttings very fast.
Choosing the flower bouquet yourself will also give you the advantage of knowing which flowers will be more likely to make good options for cutting material. The best way to find out would be through trial and error; you can buy a few bunches and test your skill and the plants’ resilience.
The next time you receive a bouquet arrangement as a gift, there is no need to discard them.