Gardening is a very important past time for many people. This program is helpful with general knowledge/understanding of horticulture. The purpose is to build self-esteem, to stimulate the senses and to motivate participants. It can promote socialization, provide an age-appropriate, pleasurable experience, as well as provide an opportunity to nurture. The best stem cuttings come from plants such as Tradescantia (wildflowers), Geraniums, Coleus and Cape Primrose.
Ideal Group Size: 1:1 or small group
- Potting Trays: 1 to 4 large
- Cutting Trays: 1 to 4 large cutting trays with clear plastic lids
- Potting Soil: one 28 litre bag of Pro-Mix
- Vermiculite: one small bag
- Clippers: 1 to 2 clean, sharp pairs of clippers
- Plants to take cuttings from: 2 to 3 healthy plants per participant, depending on size
- Other: Aprons, plastic table cloth, small plastic trowels, 2 large plastic trowels, 2 bins for mixing soil and vermiculite, watering can, plastic tags and permanent markers, face cloths for wiping hands
- Place table cloth, potting trays, shallow mixing bins, plastic trowels, watering can, soil and vermiculite, plastic tags, markers and face cloths on a table.
- Place clippers in a safe place.
- Place equal amounts of potting soil and vermiculite in mixing bins.
- Add warm water and mix. Soil mixture should be moist, but not wet.
- Give each participant an apron. Give assistance only where needed.
- Give each participant some foaming hand sanitizer to wash hands.
- Let participant fill the cuttings trays with the soil mixture to a half-inch below rim.
- Cut the stem of a healthy plant, at an angle, 4 inches in length.
- Remove all flowers and buds to prevent energy expenditure and promote root growth.
- Remove leaves from the lower 2 to 3 inches of the stem, leaving the top leaves to produce the food required for growth.
- Let participant plant the cuttings in rows, 2 inches apart.
- Let participant tamp the soil mixture firmly around each cutting.
- Let participant write tags with name of plant and date.
- Let participant insert tags into cutting trays.
- Place clear plastic lids over the cutting tray. These can be set slightly ajar after 1 to 2 weeks. When cuttings grow too tall for the lids, remove lids altogether.
- Place cutting trays in good light, preferably near an east-facing window.
- Keep soil mixture moist, but not wet.
- Dampen face cloths for participants to wipe their hands.
- Ask participants to remove aprons. Give assistance only where needed.
- Remove all items and wash all tools with soap and water.