Monday, June 30, 2014

Transplanting Existing Plants to a New Yard

With the building of a new house, we are trying to save money in every corner possible. Of course, we are not trying to cut corners structurally, but there are some things that we can take with us to save on cost. Appliances are where we are saving the most money. Our kitchen appliances and washer and dryer are all coming with us. They are five years old and we love them.

When I moved to Alabama, my parents brought some plants from the home I grew up in in Florida. And some of those plants came from my grandparents' homes in Mississippi. One of those plants was the Cast Iron Plant. My mom calls it Ironwood.

We had it outside the dining room in Florida, and I had it outside my dining room in the last house.

It was the green in between my purple loropetalum. I took the clump at the back of the grouping because it would be less noticeable. They don't like the cold, so this winter killed them down to the ground, but they came back! I just cut down the freezer burned leaves and it shot up new growth.

The other plant that came from Mississippi / Florida, is my Border Grass. It was outside the Master Bedroom.

In the winter, it dies to the ground (in Alabama, not Florida). If you trim the old leaves off, it will send up new growth faster. Keeping the old leaves attached, only makes it harder and longer to come back, but it does.

This plant is easy to make babies from. It shoots off babies everywhere. It's how it fills in gaps so easily. I just dug up the babies that were spreading beyond where I wanted them and potted them.

These babies don't really die after being transplanted. They thrive! However, I think it does help that they are in pots. When I thinned out my border grass two years ago and placed them in another area, they acted hurt and didn't look great the first year. But after the winter, they came back great!

Having them in pots, will encourage them to thicken up in the pot and I will have nice full plants by the time I have a yard to put them in.

The daylilies were another plant I made smaller plants with.

You couldn't even tell I took some.

The daylilies have already started shooting up new leaves where I removed some just two weeks ago. These plants do like to be thinned out and improve the health. Overcrowding can become damaging to the plants.

We were able to make 25 daylilies out of the clumps I dug up!

However, it can be easy to become discouraged. When I transplanted my iris's years ago, I cut them down to 5-6 inch leaves so that the plant can focus on new roots and spend less energy on the long leaves. I dug up all my iris's to take to the new house and did the same cutting technique.

I used the same cutting technique on the daylilies. I didn't capture pictures of them right after they were potted, but they were green! And then they turned brown, quickly.

I didn't cut them at first, but after they turned brown, I started to remove the dead leaves and cut them down just a little. They were starting to look bad.

I cut them down three times, before I was as low as I wanted to go. Sure enough, new green leaves started sprouting up!

They aren't large now, but they will fill those containers up by the time they go dormant for Winter.

It's just enough to keep me encouraged.

They are growing at different rates, but they can all count as having new growth. That's 25 new daylilies for free! When they can be bought at a store for no less than $3.99, I just saved $100! And yes, I do plan to use them all in the new yard. They will be everywhere!

Cast Iron Plants and Iris's aren't cheap. You pay more for very little. However, they expand and fill in over time. Border Grass can be cheap, but dividing my own probably saved me $100 as well.

If you've got the time and space, I would definitely encourage you to use your own plants to make more before buying from a store. I was able to fill in gaps at the old house this way, and now I am going to be able to fill my new yard with transplants! The only thing we'll have to buy are sod, trees and some foundation shrubs. I'm really excited!

And I've already acquired some new plants from old friends thinning out their yards. And the neighborhood I live in is holding a perennial swap in September, and hopefully I can acquire some new-to-me plants.

"To Plant A Garden Is To Have Hope In Tomorrow" - Audrey Hepburn

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