Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

I am having great success with a hop plant that I planted in a friend's garden last spring. It is growing against a sunny fence and it has taken off like a rocket! The flowers of hops (Humulus lupulus), which are traditionally used to make beer, resemble large oregano flowers or rattlesnake tails and should arrive later in the summer. They are very attractive in flower arrangements and last a long time. Once the flowers fade, the vine will be cut to the ground for the winter. Hops is commonly sold in gallon cans or bare root in the dormant season. It is extremely vigorous and fun to watch as it makes its way up the fence.

Clever Gardening Technique

Semi Hardwood Cuttings
Summer is the ideal time to take semi-hardwood cuttings from roses. When leaves are mature and tender growth is beginning to harden, select a healthy branch and cut a tip section about 8 - 10 inches long. Take several cuttings to allow for some not rooting. Remove the lower leaves, dip the prepared cuttings in rooting hormone, and then place in a pot full of damp soil or sand. Cut their remaining leaves in half. Cover the prepared cuttings, including the pot, with a plastic bag to retain moisture and place in a bright location. Keep the cuttings moist by misting frequently. You should begin to see new growth in about 6 weeks, at which point you can remove the plastic bag. Continue nursery care until planting time next spring.

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