August 23, 2002

Propagating Annuals from Cuttings


By now many of our annual plants in the garden are gorgeous to overgrowing! It will be hard to watch these prized flowers die after the first frost. Fortunately, some annuals can be propagated from cuttings and brought indoors during the winter. This is a great way to extend their beauty inside and reduce the cost of annual flowers for next spring.

Annuals such as sweet potato vine, coleus, geranium, impatiens, begonia, and plectranthus are easy to root from cuttings. Below is a brief outline of the process.

Remove a 2 to 4 inch stem tip with a clean, sharp knife.

Bacterial Wetwood or Slime Flux


Bacterial wetwood or slime flux is a common disease of many hardwood trees, such as maple, elm, cottonwood, and aspen. Symptoms include the bleeding or oozing of clear slime from the tree causing dark streaking on the trunk or branch crotches. This wet material is sometimes colonized by fungi and other bacteria and can smell bad. When the slime dries, it leaves a yellowish residue on the bark.

Groundcovers for Sunny Areas


Groundcovers are excellent choices where turfgrass is not desirable or practical. The following perennials can be used as groundcovers in partial to full sun.

Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is an 8 to 12 inch tall groundcover that can be grown in partial shade to full sun. It produces gentian blue flowers in late summer. In fall, its foliage turns a reddish bronze. Leadwort requires a well-drained soil. Plants are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.