Let children observe the magic of a how a cutting grows its roots – a quick way to propagate plants for free and a valuable lesson in appreciating just how awesome nature really is.
You will need
- A sterilised medium-sized glass bottle
- Cuttings from healthy plants that will root easily without nurserybought rooting hormones. Try species such as African violet, geranium, mint, wandering Jew, impatiens, philodendron and spekboom (indigenous to South Africa).
- Help your kids cut a 3 to 6-inch section of stem from a healthylooking plant by making a clean, angled snip above a leaf node.
- Let them remove leaves from the bottom third or half of the cutting so you are left with a bare stalk and a few leaves on the top section.
- Put the cutting in the bottle of water, submerging only the leafless stem.
- Place the bottle in a place that gets partial sunlight and that is neither too hot or cold.
- Once the roots are several inches long the cutting is ready to transplant into soil.
- Keep the water topped up and replace once a week or sooner if it becomes cloudy.
- Let the kids feel like mini scientists by displaying their cuttings in test tube vases or beakers.
- Upcycled chutney, ketchup and glass soda bottles filled with cuttings, displayed en masse from a metal frame, will create an eye-catching decorative element.