By Elyssa Sasongko
The cooler weather is right around the corner! And I don’t know about you, but I’m already clicking ferociously on sweaters and jackets clickbait on my Pinterest feed. I’ve been craving apple cider for about two weeks now! Those crisp Fall mornings just can’t come soon enough.
All of this reminiscing has instilled in me a determination to figure out how our studio can contribute to your Fall frolicking this year. One of the things that, of course, occurred to me is the fact that pots for plants are SO easy to make around here! And if you’re an old hand coming back into our space as a studio member, or you’re taking a class with Rainy, or you’re a patron to the pop-up booth in Air Ship Coffee next door to our studio--through all of these different avenues, plant pots are attainable!
Not only are pots abundant in our studio, but so are plants! Rainy (and, well, me too!) love plants! She’s both a ceramics master and a plant fanatic--as I’m sure a lot of you are as well. In this issue of “Thoughts from Fifth Street” you and I will be diving together into all things plants and propagation! We will talk about how you can best take care of some of your cuttings--and how to share some of your own lovely green things that you most likely have around your place.
These ingenious little creations were inspired by Root Nurture Grow, a book by Caro Langton and Rose Ray. This book is centered around all things propagation. Rooting chambers are a really cheap and portable greenhouse creation designed for the transference of your cuttings! They’re really great for tropical plants, who prefer a moist environment. And they’re SO easy to make. Here’s how:
There are two parts: the plant pot/container and the plastic wrap/cover.
Clear Plastic wrap or baggie (you can get these from Hobby Lobby, Joanns, Walmart, usually any craft store and usually in the gift wrap section. Hobby Lobby has the big roll and Joanns has the baggies. They’re in the pastry section.
Container--this can be nearly anything. A standard plant pot, compostable cups made out of wood pulp that you can find at nurseries, a repurposed plastic salad box, silicone muffin pans...the list goes on. Here’s where you can find some offerings from Fifth Street. Bear in mind that whatever container you use, it needs to have holes in the bottom for proper drainage.
Once your cutting is planted, use the plastic wrap to make a tent around the plant and tie off with a twistie tie. You can also use a stick or bamboo to prop up the bag from the inside. You can ALSO recycle a plastic liter bottle. Just cut off the bottom and place it over your new plant. Whatever sort of plastic cover you use, be sure to poke a few holes in it to make sure your plant is getting air flow.
Using a rooting chamber for your new cutting will make a bubble of moisture around your fragile little life, creating the perfect environment for it to thrive.
Plant cuttings to consider (and share) this Fall:
Aloe is one of those plants that I didn’t know could be propagated! A lot of articles online tell you that it cant be done with new clippings. But its actually simple—here’s how.
Clip off a healthy section of leaf about four inches long. Let it callouse for a week. Stick the cut end into dry soil that is porous and drains easily, and viola! Roots should begin to grow!
Ivy is probably one of the easiest plants to propagate. These guys are happy pretty anywhere and in any atmosphere. To propagate this trailing wonder, simply clip off a new vine about three inches long and stick in water for about two weeks until roots appear. Plant in a pot with some fresh soil. You can also create a greenhouse around your new baby with the method described above! Leave in the greenhouse for two weeks to a month.
Silver Polka Dot Begonia-
Pruning of these lovely giants should be done (guess when!) in the Fall, just after summer! The perfect time to sprout new little baby begonias with the clippings! Get a cutting with at least two or three nodes and place in water. Have patience, they will eventually grow a crazy amount of roots.
My grandmother passed down her begonia to me when she died. A few years ago, a huge branch was broken off by my roommates' enormous and clumsy dog. Overcoming my dismay, I took heart! I stuck it in water and almost a year later, it's grown an entire new branch that’s half the height of my grandmothers!
And if you need/want to purchase a lovely pot from Fifth Street, here are some to consider!
I hope that these tips and tricks have been intriguing to you! And I hope that some of you try them out! Tag us on instagram if you make your own rooting chamber! Rainy and I would love to see your creations.
Happy end of summer, everyone!