Attempting Propagation (Thyme, Origanum and Bell Peppers)

Tonight I tried my hand at propagation. I read that thyme can be propagated from cuttings. Since my single thyme plant is not quite keeping up with my demands, I decided to try the cuttings-thing. I also mentioned this to a colleague who is interested in adding thyme to her garden, so let’s hope it works!

Propagating Cuttings

The basic method seems to be to cut off about 7-8cm long shoot-tips of the plant, removing their bottom leaves and placing somewhere damp. The general consensus seems to be that you should use tender young tips, not ones with woody stems. I used some seedling trays saved from store bought seedlings, and stuck the stems about 3cm into the potting mix.

I used Master Organics Master Supermix, which the nursery man suggested might work well for starting seedlings. I placed two shoots in each tray pocket (gee, what should you call them?) to increase the odds. For now I’m watering them from below by placing the seedling trays in a plastic container shallowly filled with water. It’s summer here, so mostly quite warm; I will however keep them indoors at night for now.

I also took some origanum cuttings and planted them the same way. Apparently this should work equally well. My origanum plants actually produce more than I need, but perhaps my colleague would like some. Besides, the more the merrier I say.

Stolen Bell Peppers

While I was at it, I decided to also sow some of the bell-pepper seed I saved from a store-bought red-pepper. This is probably a bad idea for two reasons:

  1. You won’t know what you’re gonna get, because commercial peppers are frequently hybrids.
  2. Commercial peppers may not be ripe enough to contain viable seed.

At least I did the “right” thing by using a red pepper, since red peppers should be riper. In any case, its just for fun and the seeds didn’t cost me anything, so let’s see what happens!

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs and More Damn Bugs

Aphids (I’m pretty sure that’s what they are now) seem to have a voracious appetite for my tatsoi plants. While the organic pestecide spray I’m using is definitely killing them, they come back with distressing regularity. I did at least witness the effectiveness of the spray first hand tonight; it seems to kill the aphids within minutes.

Anyhoo, good night and go well!


  1. A. Colleague
    January 27th, 2010 at 10:13AM

    Yaay! looking forward to those little ones :)

    (Maybe the aphids keep on coming back because the neighbours don't keep 'em under control with the same enthusiasm...).

  2. Le Roux
    February 8th, 2010 at 04:56PM

    Aphids are relatively easy to kill - they are typically big enough to spray off with water. Relatively easy compared to, say, spider mites. ;P

    I also find that the problem with the organic pesticided is that you have to keep using it all the time. The pesticide that I use is made of garlic and canola oil and you don't really want all your herbs to smell/taste of that :) It is also a pain (bordering on impossible) to wash off your tomatoes, for example.

    I want to try biological control which is why I planted Marigolds - apparently aphids don't like them. But now my marigolds are infested with spider mites...

  3. Neilen Marais
    February 10th, 2010 at 09:06AM

    I didn't find garlic smell to be an issue at all. The instructions claimed that the spell does not persist if you spray it onto leaves, and I found it to be true. It dissappears within hours. I also tasted some leaves later, and they had no garlic residue. Perhaps it won't work on a tomato because it is quite sealed, just try miss them when you spray :)

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