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Proctor's Garden: Caring for your cuttings

It doesn't take a greenhouse to produce a bounty of free plants to take outside in spring. All you need is a sunny window, patience and care.

DENVER — If you took cuttings last fall, as we recommended, they're probably ready to pot.

Many cuttings root well in jars of water on the windowsill. At some point, they need to be transferred to soil. Use your plastic nursery pots that you hopefully saved. Hold the cutting in the center of the pot and fill in soil around the roots. 

Put the new plants in trays in the window or under lights. Water them well as they adjust to life in soil. Pinch back the top two leaves at the top to encourage them to branch out. Otherwise you'll just have straggly plants with one main stem. They will need pinching throughout the rest of winter.

New, free plants can still be made from cuttings of coleus, geraniums, bloodleaf and others. Root them in water and wait for roots to develop. Some houseplants such as spider plant can also be easily propagated. Cut off the new plants that the mother plants produces and pot them in soil. They already have roots that will grow easily. 

It doesn't take a greenhouse to produce a bounty of free plants to take outside in spring. All you need is a sunny window, patience and care. 

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