Welcome to Gardening with Ms. Kate! Today we will be learning about propagation. Propa – wha? Propagation. Now, let me explain. Propagation is “the breeding of specimens of a plant or animal by natural processes from the parent stock.” What that means is that we are using the original or parent plants to make a new one. This is usually done when a plant is starting to die. Luckily, we can use leaves or stems to salvage the plant! 

Green onions are what we are using today, but you can propagate any plant. For example, succulents, which is a type of plant that is commonly found in dry areas and can survive off of little water. I had to propagate a succulent or two because of overwatering in the past. What did I do? I took the healthy leaves off of the succulent and placed it onto a moist paper towel. I waited until the nodules of the leaves (where they had been connected to the stem) had callused over and a few baby roots were starting to show! 

Where was I? Oh! We were talking about propagating green onions today, well onto the show – er, blog. 

What we need is a glass of water, green onions, and scissors. Why do we need to be careful with scissors? 

Yup! Because they are sharp and can hurt you. That is why we always need a parent or guardian to supervise us when using sharp objects. Also, when we are uncertain of how to use something it is okay to ask questions.

We are going to cut the green stems of the plant an inch or two above the root which is the white portion of the green onion. This is what we will be using to grow our new plant. Which is good news for me, because as you can see, the green onions I bought from a grocery store are starting to go and I will need more soon. Once you cut your green onions place the root pieces into the glass of water. Propagation can take place in water or soil in the beginning. We are going use water today so we can have a chance to watch the process of propagation. Place the green onion root side down into the water half submerged to avoid the plant drowning. 

Next, place your experiment in a sunny window and there you have it, the beginning of propagation! After a day, you should be able to start to see a hint of a shoot coming in. In a week you will see a new green onion, and after two weeks, they are ready to be planted. Be careful when potting them, the new roots are a little fragile. Take your time and you are good to grow. 

Something to add to the fun, mark on the glass jar how much your onions have grown day by day. This will show us the speed of which plants grow and why the plant is growing. The answer to that is, the plant is growing because it is getting the nutrients it needs! Water, sun, this is what a plant needs to stay healthy. Hmmm I wonder what keeps us healthy. What helps us grow to be big and strong? 

I hope you’ve had as much fun as I did. This is going to kickstart my herb and vegetable garden! Speaking of gardens, take your time when taking care of your plants. It is a learning experience and full of trial and errors. You are doing great, keep going! 

💓 Ms. Kate


The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons