One way to create a living memory of your wedding day is to create a garden from the bride's bouquet. Many flowers can grow from cuttings, with roses being a common choice because they tend to root easily. Just make sure you put the bouquet in water as soon after the ceremony as possible, and use a special throw bouquet instead of the real deal. The following steps will take your through the rest of the process.
- Pot with a bottom drainage hole.
- Rooting medium
- Chopsticks or skewers
- Plastic bag
- Rooting hormone
A note on the rooting medium: a soilless medium is best. You can often find these at nurseries or you can purchase the ingredients to make your own. A common mixture is equal part vermiculite and peat moss. The mediums drain better than actual soil and they are completely sterile, so you do not have to worry about disease attack the cutting as it roots.
Step #1: Prepare the pot
Before you begin taking apart your bridal bouquet, you first need to prepare the pot. Wash the pot with soap and water and then rinse it very well. Then, fill it halfway with potting medium and water thoroughly. Allow it to drain for a few minutes, and then fill the pot to the rim and water a second time. This time, allow it to drain for about a half hour. The medium should be fluffed up and fully damp.
Step #2: Take the cuttings
Flower stem cutting are softwood cuttings. Roses, for example, grow well from these, To prepare softwood cuttings, cut the bottom of the stem off with a sharp, clean knife, taking care not to crush the stem. Trim back the top of the stem to a leaf or a leaf node – which is a small raised bump on the stem. The stem should be no more than a couple of inches long.
Leaf cuttings are the other option from your bouquet. Begonias and African violets are leaf cutting example. For these, remove a large, healthy leaf, including the stem that connected the leaf to the main floral stem.
Step #3: Pot it up
Dip your cuttings in the rooting hormone powder – the bottom of the stem of stem cuttings, and the stem end of leaf cuttings. Once coated in the hormone, insert the cutting into the rooting medium deep enough so it stands upright on its own. You can place multiple cuttings in one pot as long as they don't touch.
Insert the skewers or chopsticks into the medium and drape the plastic bag over the top. The sticks hold the bag so it doesn't touch the cuttings. Now, simply place this makeshift greenhouse in a warm place with indirect light, and water lightly only if the medium begins to dry out.
Step #4: Rooting
Rooting can take from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the plant and environmental factors. You will know it has succeeded when you begin to see new growth on the cuttings. You can then transplant them to their own pots or the garden.
Talk to a florist, like Bouquet Flower Shop, for more advice. They can help you both choose flowers for the wedding that propagate easily, as well as help you with the basic process.